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Portion of Grandparent's Rights Act Stricken as Unconstitutional

Pennsylvania Supreme Court determines that provision allowing grandparents to seek custody/visitation if parents are separated for six months violates due process.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently determined that section 5325(2) (related to standing to seek physical custody or visitation) of a minor child was unconstitutional as to its first part, which reads "where the parents of the child have been separated for a period of at least six months...". The Court determined that allowing a third party to intrude into a family on the basis of a separation was too intrusive and violated equal protection under the 14th Amendment. This opinion does not strike down the second portion of 5325(2) that reads "or [parents] have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their marriage." However, it draws even this section into serious doubt. All other provisions of the grandparent's rights act remain in full effect.

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