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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.

What Our
clients Have to Say

  • He took the time to explain the process, understand the facts of my case and provide suggestions like retaining a private investigator.

    “I came to Shaffer & Engle Law Offices searching for hope after I entered a plea in my criminal case. I had a false allegation filed against me for a sexual offense that I did not commit. I was involved with another lawyer for 2 ½ years, when it came down to day before court we felt he was not prepared to represent me. I either took the plea of "Nolo Contendere" or went to jail the day of the trial. I felt trapped. I had this allegation against me and I was innocent. I met with the Attorney Engle. He took the time to explain the process, understand the facts of my case and provide suggestions like retaining a private investigator. He offered to represent me and quickly moved to withdraw my guilty plea. That was granted by the court and we proceeded to prepare for trial. They uncovered many things that our other lawyer did not bother to investigate. They met with character witnesses after hours to make sure my defense would be solid. Long story short, the DA in my case withdrew the charges. I went from a convicted man to completely being vindicated. Shaffer and Engle Law Offices also were able to assist me in another matter relating to the criminal case, but in civil court. The same results, all charges were dismissed. I appreciate the work they did, their prompt service, care and attention they showed to me and my family. I found their services to be affordable when compared to what they did for me. I would highly recommend them for anyone charged with a crime that they did not do.”

    JH

  • I can say my lawyer did her job I had three pending case against me she did her research and told me this is what we can do, I walked in the court house with some pending charges.

    “I recommend Shaffer & Engle. I can say my lawyer did her job. I had three pending cases against me and she did her research and told me this is what we can do. I walked in the courthouse with some pending charges. I could have done jail time or probation. I walked out of there with a little fine and some community service.”

    Former Client

  • He treated me with respect and always made me feel like my case was his only priority.

    “Because I live out of state, I needed representation that I could trust to best represent me and my interests. Jeff Engle provided regular, thorough counsel throughout the legal process. He treated me with respect and always made me feel like my case was his only priority.”

    KH

  • They handled everything beautifully and were able to minimize our anxiety throughout a difficult process.

    “Jeff is the fourth attorney that I have worked with regarding custody of my son. My previous attorneys were neither knowledgeable of the law as it applied to my case nor followed through on the actions they said they would take. Not only did Jeff know what he was doing, but he did everything that he said he would in a timely fashion. Given that my case involved an international relocation, allocation of sole custody for residency purposes abroad, and a non-custodial parent who was anything but cooperative, there was a high likelihood that my case would be unsuccessful with even the potential of being ordered to return to the US to maintain physical custody of my son. Today my child and I are happily living abroad and I was able to obtain the residency permit for my son to remain here. I attribute the success of my case to Jeff and his firm. They handled everything beautifully and were able to minimize our anxiety throughout a difficult process. Thank you!”

    Former Client

  • He follows up with his clients quickly so you are at ease knowing what the status of your situation is.

    “I can’t begin to say how great Mr. Engle was on SUPER short notice. I’m from out of state and I have to say he was quick to respond and had answers to my questions. It was an INCREDIBLE relief to have him in my corner, I can’t tell you how invaluable that is. He follows up with his clients quickly so you are at ease knowing what the status of your situation is. You are in fantastic and capable hands with Mr. Engle.”

    Jessie C.