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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
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    PA
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    Default Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    My girlfriend (Amie) and I have been dating for about a year. We live in Pennsylvania. She has a son at the age of 7. His father has no contact with him. We live in the same house. We provide and alcohol, drug, and abuse free home to her child.

    The issue comes in to play when we mention her parents. They were around her child alot as he grew up and everything was fine. They are Seventh Day Adventist's and live their lives accordingly. Since her move in with me, she has stepped away from the Seventh Day Adventist Church and "converted" (if you will) to traditional Christianity. Her family did not take to this very well and proceeded to call her and tell her how she was wrong and how she is messing up her child's life. This went on for a few months and she dealt with it. As she allowed him to go up to visit them he would come home talking of religion (which was in opposition to what she had taught him) he would be disrespectful (she attributes this to the fact that they follow a way of teaching in which little or no discipline is given) and he would tell her of how they were speaking negatively about how she is handling her life. I remind you he is 7 years old and in our opinion should not be thrown into the middle of all this.

    Recently, due to Amie's decision to only allow them to see him under her supervision, they have threatened to attain Grandparents Visitation Rights. We did some research and we noticed that because the Father isnt around, they may be able to apply, but in our opinion the fact that they wish to change the religion in which he is taught and the fact that they do not respect her wishes in the area of discipline and respect, we believe their seeing him without her being present could and most likely will interfere with the parent-child relationship. Finally, I want to say, the only time they would be able to see him due to him going to school, would be weekends. Seeing as they observe Saturday as the "Sabbath" and live accordingly, Amie feels this would instill thoughts into his mind that their way of life is correct and consequently destroy what she feels is right for him to learn. And if he was to be with them on a Sunday, the day we observe as the "Sabbath" that would again be in opposition to her teachings.

    Any input would help...We wish to know what chance they have, if any at all in attaining rights and what we can do to counter if need be...

    Thank you again : )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Toledo, OH
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    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    It's my understanding that the grandparents have to prove that it is in the best interests of the child for them to have an ongoing relationship with them.

    "We don't like our daughter's religion!" is insufficient.

    Even so, I'd get an attorney and run the whole situation by him. People with religious motivations can be remarkably tenacious.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    PA
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    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    Its more then just the fact that they don't like her religion...they will argue that since she has moved away from their town, they have seen alot less of him.

    The reason they are angry is because she has told them if they do not follow her ways in treating him she will have to be there when they see him.

    In the past two weeks, they have seen him both weekends. One of which was not planned, but still, once each weekend. And before that, it was at most, two weekends in between.

    They argue this is too much and that they will force her to leave him up there because "they have rights to him..."

    I'm just trying to figure this all out. Id rather not go after a lawyer just yet, im curious what the law-intelligent internet people think : )

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Officially across the country from where I've been all my life
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    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    Personally, I wouldn't worry about it until served with a summons. Parents have the right to pick and choose who their children are involved with and to what extent, and that includes the grandparents of said child.

    PA's grandparents rights statutes are online I believe. It may be worth googling them and reading through them.
    If you wanted babies all to yourself, you should have created them by yourself. Until you do that, children have the right to BOTH parents, especially since you found them suitable to procreate with.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    PA
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    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    This is what I found...

    Pennsylvania statutes indicate that grandparents may be granted reasonable custodial rights in the following circumstances:
    a. When parent deceased: If a parent of an unmarried child is deceased, the parents or grandparents of the deceased parent may be granted reasonable partial custody or visitation rights, or both, to the child by the court if it is found that the visitation is in the child's best interest. The more contact the grandparents had with the child before the death of the parent, the more custodial time the grandparents will be given.

    b. When parents' marriage is dissolved or parents are separated: After a divorce complaint has been filed by a parent or when parents have been separated for 6 months or more, the court may grant reasonable partial custody or visitation rights, or both, to the unmarried child if it is in the child's best interest AND would not interfere with the parent-child relationship. Again, the court will consider the amount of contact between the grandparents and the child previous to the petition being filed.

    c. When child has resided with grandparents: If an unmarried child has resided with grandparents or great-grandparents for a period of 12 months or more and is subsequently removed from the home by the parents, the grandparents or great-grandparents may petition the court for partial custody or visitation or both. The best interests of the child will be considered and these rights will only be granted if the granting of the rights will not interfere with the parent-child relationship.

    Letter B - being the only one that applies...Our argument comes into play when I consider the statement "...would not interfere with the parent-child relationship."

    I guess what I'm asking is, how concerned should we be that a lawyer would advise them to go ahead with a case and if they did take that path, how concerned should we be that they would get some sort of rights.One more, if they did take a case, win, and gain visitation, do we have the right to move away, or are we in charge of making their visitation possible - as in providing transportation for the child.

    Sorry for all the questions, your replies have been very helpful and we are very grateful. : )

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    Officially across the country from where I've been all my life
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    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    I have always interpreted that statute to pertain to (although it is not specific) to the parents of the NCP, although I will admit I could ABSOLUTELY BE WRONG on that one. PA is not my specialty.

    I wouldn't be concerned until papers are filed. Anyone can sue for any cause of action, whether they will win is another story, however, if something is filed, do NOT do this on your own, you will need an attorney.

    As for an attorney telling them to go for it. If you find the right one (or wrong one for that matter), they will convince you to sue the President for visitation of his kids. I guess what I'm saying is that there are some attorneys that, if you pay them enough, they will take your case, even if they KNOW in the end you will lose.
    If you wanted babies all to yourself, you should have created them by yourself. Until you do that, children have the right to BOTH parents, especially since you found them suitable to procreate with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    PA
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    8

    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    What types of rulings could be won...as in, what could they win "weekly visitation for two hours" or something of that sort?

    And if this was done, would we have the legal right to move away?
    And if that happened, would they have to take legal action again?

    Thanks alot for your help : )

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    PA is a pro gp state. Having the religion angle is definately in your SO's favor. Gp's do NOT inherent legal rights as most gps seem to think that they do. Be very careful with this situation and come back and let us know if they sue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    PA
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    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    One important question that we face is, What would happen if they attained rights and we chose to move away?

    Would those rights transfer to the new state, or would they have to reapply?

    Also, are these rights indefinite, or do they last 'til a certain age: ie 18yrs old, 21yrs old?

    Thanks again : )

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Grandparents Threatening Visitation Rights

    Quote Quoting quickshot23
    View Post
    One important question that we face is, What would happen if they attained rights and we chose to move away?

    Would those rights transfer to the new state, or would they have to reapply?

    Also, are these rights indefinite, or do they last 'til a certain age: ie 18yrs old, 21yrs old?

    Thanks again : )
    No, the judge could not force you to stay for a gp.

    The gp could still sue for visitation and your wife would be forced to give up blocks of time.

    As soon as the child becomes an adult the order is finished OR until the order is modified or vacated.

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