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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

  • 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.

  • I wanted to thank you for the Support & Defense you provided me with on my last minute court case, you didn't have to defend me and told me to take a hike, buy you have a heart and that means a lot to some people.

    “I wanted to thank you for the Support & Defense you provided me with on my last minute court case, you didn't have to defend me and told me to take a hike, buy you have a heart and that means a lot to some people.”

    Tony

  • 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

  • Personal attention, effectiveness, and professionalism

    “When I called their phone number, I got an actual human who explained some preliminary things, and then I was transferred to Attorney Engle for further discussion. Who even does that these days? In a world of offshore phone centers and online forms, it was really nice to have the personal attention of people who took the time to actually help me through the process. After searching for legal representation and finding a hundred glitzy, showboating websites with cookie-cutter online contact forms, choosing Attorney Engle was a no-brainer. I found the rates to be incredibly affordable, and I certainly can't forget to mention the fast, positive outcome.”

    Curt

  • Mr. Engle took my matter as if it were his own and followed through to the end.

    “I contacted Mr. Engle back in August. My custody case had originated in Delaware in 2013 and was the final hearing was held in May of 2015. After the other party objected DE having jurisdiction, he took matters into his own hands and got PA involved - where he lives. In a panic I called Mr. Engle after being referred to him by my DE attorney. Even though I wasn't a client and I did not have an appointment scheduled, Mr Engle took the time out to hear the background information, calm me down and come to, what I thought, was a good conclusion. Fast forward 4 months later and every email, phone call and frantic visit to his office was greeted with kindness and patience...and if he was unavailable, his staff showed the same warm professionalism. I could be sure that I would hear back from him within the same business day - sometimes even on his downtime after hours - or first thing in the morning. Mr. Engle took my matter as if it were his own and followed through to the end. I would not hesitate to call on Mr. Engle again if the occasion ever arose.”

    Rebekah