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Grandparents Have An Automatic Right To Seek Custody of Their Grandchildren
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently stated that grandparents automatically have standing to seek physical and legal custody of their grandchildren, regardless of their dependency status or whether a parent has been deemed unfit. K.B. II v. C.B.F. (9/25/03). However, having an automatic right to seek custody does not make it any easier to be awarded custody.
The Custody and Grandparent Visitation Act (section 5313b) sets forth the requirements a grandparent must establish in order to obtain custody:
Pennsylvania grants a fault divorce if a spouse deserts without reasonable cause for one or more years, commits adultery, endangers the life of his or her partner or subjects a partner to cruel or barbarous treatment, was already married to someone else (bigamy) when he or she married, was sentenced to jail for longer than two years, or has made the conditions intolerable or life burdensome.
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