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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

  • She's a hard worker and she knows her stuff.

    “She's very dependable, honest, and very easy to talk to. She always returns my calls in a timely manner. She's a hard worker and she knows her stuff. I feel she always had my back and was working for me. And she even goes above and beyond if the situation calls for it. I had a very positive experience.”

    Former Client

  • Jeff is very up front about his experience, results and belief in the success or possible issues with your case.

    “From the minute you call Jeff Engle's office, you are treated with first class respect and service. Jeff is very up front about his experience, results and belief in the success or possible issues with your case. From the time of retainment, Jeff's use of electronic forms of communication keep you up to date to the minute whenever there are developments and progress in your case. This type of communication is nearly unheard of in ANY proffession. Many times, I knew that Jeff was taking his personal time to communicate with me. Jeff presents himself as a very knowledgeable and able attorney with sincere personal interest in the success of your case. During times of uncertainty, having someone of Jeff's demeanor at your side will simply make you feel that no matter what the outcome may be, he is right there with you. There was not one time during the course of my case that I felt Jeff was not thoughful and prepared for. I cannot say enough for the level of professionalism this man presents while representing you as a client.”

    Kevin

  • Jeff presents himself as a very knowledgeable and able attorney with sincere personal interest in the success of your case.

    “From the minute you call Jeff Engle's office, you are treated with first class respect and service. Jeff is very up front about his experience, results and belief in the success or possible issues with your case. From the time of retainment, Jeff's use of electronic forms of communication keep you up to date to the minute whenever there are developments and progress in your case. This type of communication is nearly unheard of in ANY profession. Many times, I knew that Jeff was taking his personal time to communicate with me. Jeff presents himself as a very knowledgeable and able attorney with sincere personal interest in the success of your case. During times of uncertainty, having someone of Jeff's demeanor at your side will simply make you feel that no matter what the outcome may be, he is right there with you. There was not one time during the course of my case that I felt Jeff was not thoughtful and prepared for. I cannot say enough for the level of professionalism this man presents while representing you as a client.”

    Kevin

  • Thank you for going above and beyond for the client I referred to you, but more importantly, thank you for the fantastic result.

    “Thank you for going above and beyond for the client I referred to you, but more importantly, thank you for the fantastic result. She was my most important client, and you really came through.”

    Attorney John D.

  • You really did make a "federal case" of my situation!

    “Elisabeth, You are the best! I can't express how upset I was when I discovered that my builder committed fraud and lied to me about the quality and condition of my new house. It was a huge investment for me and he put me in a bad financial situation. I was cautiously hopeful when you told me you could help. When you got me a judgment for $130,000 plus- three times the amount of my damages- I was amazed! Thanks so much for all of your hard work and dedication. You really did make a "federal case" of my situation! With the money you won for me, I can finally enjoy my home. P.P.”

    P.P.