It is important for children to have contact with their parents and support from others as they grow. In situations where it is appropriate to do so, the court may grant visitation rights to non-custodial parents or other parties. The court may require these people to meet specific requirements for visitation first.
Requesting parental visitation
In Pennsylvania, a biological parent of a minor child may request visitation with their child as part of a divorce, custody case or in other circumstances. In any situation, the court will make visitation decisions that are in the best interest of the child and the court has flexibility to determine which arrangements meet that requirement.
The court will consider the well-being of the child, the child’s relationship with his or her relatives and siblings, the child’s wishes and the preferences of the child’s parents. It will also consider the child’s safety, especially in situations where there has been prior child abuse or domestic violence.
If grandparents request visitation, the court may grant it if the child’s parents are divorced or separated, the child has lived with the grandparent for more than 12 months or if at least one of the child’s parents is deceased.
In Pennsylvania, it may be difficult for step-parents to request visitation for their step-child, especially in situations where the child’s biological parent disagrees with the request. However, the court may consider this type of visitation when it is in the child’s best interest.
Visitation and child custody matters can be complicated, but an experienced attorney can help parents, grandparents or other parties with their questions and provide advice.