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Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys in Harrisburg

Providing Caring & Capable Representation Since 1951

The bond between a grandparent and a grandchild is a special one, spanning generations. When parents divorce or separate, courts make decisions about parenting time and custody. However, grandparents' rights are often overlooked during this process, leaving them out of the equation and upsetting this special relationship.

At Shaffer & Engle, our family law attorneys in Harrisburg provide zealous advocacy on behalf of grandparents asserting their visitation rights with grandchildren, and on behalf of grandchildren seeking to have their special bond nourished through a continued relationship with a grandparent.

Call (717) 268-4287 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our grandparents’ rights lawyers in Harrisburg.

Grandparents' Custody Rights under Pennsylvania Law

The first step in any custody case is to establish whether you, as a grandparent, have a right to bring a legal action for custody. Under the new custody law that took effect in January 2011, grandparents who stand in loco parentis (who stand in the shoes of a parent) have standing to pursue legal and primary physical custody if three criteria are met.

These criteria include:

  • If the relationship between the grandparent and grandchild began with the consent of the parent or through a court order
  • The grandparent wishes to assume, or already assumes, responsibility for the child
  • And either (a) the child is deemed a dependent under the Juvenile Act and (b) the child is significantly at risk due to parental alcohol or drug abuse, incapacity, neglect, or abuse OR (c) the child resided with the grandparent for a minimum of 12 months (if the grandparent filed for custody within 6 months of removal).

If you do have standing to bring a custody case, then you must still prove that a change in custody is in the best interest of the child. Grandparents need an experienced custody attorney to fight for custody rights.

In addition, grandparents have standing to seek visitation (partial custody) in each of the following cases:

  • A parent (the grandparent's child) is deceased
  • The parents have been separated for at least six months
  • The child resided with the grandparent for 12 months (if the grandparent filed for custody within six months of removal)

Call (717) 268-4287 for a Free Consultation

To discuss your legal rights as a grandparent with a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney, contact Shaffer & Engle. We are skilled Harrisburg grandparents' rights attorneys who can ably represent your interests in trial if a resolution cannot be amicably achieved through negotiations or mediation. Call (717) 268-4287.

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  • We love you, Elisabeth! You are a "for real" woman!

    “We love you, Elisabeth! You are a "for real" woman!”

    Tara G.

  • Her work was impeccable and impressive.

    “Elisabeth was more than a great lawyer. She was thorough and always made us feel important. Her work was impeccable and impressive. She went above and beyond what we expected. Our situation was stressful but she made us feel confident and we could tell she cares. I'm so happy she was on our team - she is the tough lawyer you want fighting for you!”

    Anonymous

  • Very thankful to all of them

    “Working through legal issues can be stressful to say the least. The Firm of Shaffer & Engle was experienced, communicative, thorough and kind. Very thankful to all of them and glad to have had the pleasure to work with such a great team.”

    T.P.

  • He has a great personality and makes you feel welcome and comfortable.

    “Mr. Engle took our case and worked diligently from the time we hired his firm until our case was resolved. In addition he kept us well informed throughout the process with emails, letters, and phone conversations. I have worked with a number of law firms in the past 10 plus years and Attorney Engle is one of the best. He does not make you feel as if you are a burden to him when you ask questions. He has a great personality and makes you feel welcome and comfortable. He makes no promises due to the fact he is not a fortune teller but he will do everything possible to have a positive outcome for your case. I recommend Attorney Engle and his Law Firm and hold nothing but positive praise for him and his team.”

    Paul W.

  • He treats you with respect, has a great personality, keeps you informed, makes you feel comfortable, and takes time to answer any questions.

    “Hired the Law Office to handle the new Adam Walsh Act law going into effect December 20, 2012. State of PA and State Police was requiring that I register under the new law. Not only required to register but also changing my Tier level from Tier 1 to Tier Pending. Originally was required to register as a Tier 1 for 10 years but under the new law they were requiring to register for life. Attorney Engle took the case and fought from the day he was hired until the case was resolved. This is the only Law Firm I have dealt with that work diligently and kept us well informed throughout the case. Our case Won on two levels: 1. I am no longer required to register under the new Adam Walsh Act. 2. Successfully removed my name from the Sex Offender Registry. I am no longer listed on State or Federal Megan Law web site. I have worked with several Law firms over the past 10 years and Attorney Engle is the best Attorney. He treats you with respect, has a great personality, keeps you informed, makes you feel comfortable, and takes time to answer any questions. He fought for my rights where not too many attorneys out there will. AND he WON our case against the State Attorney General and the Pennsylvania State Police. I will recommend this Law Firm to anyone that need legal representation no matter what the case might be. Big or small this is the law firm you want to hire. I cannot nor can anyone predict the same outcome but they will fight for your best interest.”

    Former client