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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29986
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Hi I need to know what I can do to get visitation with my Granddaughter.

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Hi I need to know what I can do to get visitation with my Granddaughter. She lived with us when her mother and father got a divorce. Now her mother (our daughter) has remarried and has another child. Since they married we have not seen our granddaughter but only a few times. They live in Fairfield Pa, we live in Emmitsburg, MD.... we are not but a few miles apart. My daughter and her new husband have cut us off completely. They do not come to any family functions and do not invite us to anything. We have missed Christmas, birthdays and now Easter. I have sent my daughter many letters to try and resolve whatever the issue is. She does not respond. They have changed their phone numbers, blocked us on facebook, and will not answer the door when we stop by their house for a visit. They have even not opened the door for my 75 year old father when he stopped by. I am at my wits end and need to have some direction as to what it is that I have the right to do. Can you help?

Sincerely, XXXXX

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I am very sorry to hear that this has happened.

I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but the law unfortunately does not support you, based on the facts that you have provided. The law typically defers to a parent's wishes regarding who will spend time with his or her children. There are some exceptions, but those apply in situations where the grandparent previously was the custodial parent for at least one year, it has already been determined that the child does not have proper care (such as where Child Services removed the child from the home), or there is reason to believe that there is neglect, abuse, or mental illness on the part of the parent. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat., Section 5324.

I really hope that your daughter comes around before it's too late for you to establish a relationship with your grandchildren. The child/grandchild relationship is very special, and very different from the parent/child relationship. But the law unfortunately does not provide a right to visitation where the parent has chosen to deny access, outside those three exceptions.

I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i was under the impression that if the child lived with you that you have some rights. when my daughter left her first husband she moved back in with us with our granddaughter for almost two years. she lived with us then we moved in with her. so we did share in the parenting of her and did have a relationship

If the child lived with you for at least 12 months, you would have standing to file for custody, but only if you filed within six months after your daughter moved out and took the kids.

In that case, the grandparent can seek custody, based on the argument that continuing the relationship with the child is in the child's best interests. That involves looking at a number of factors, including your age and health, your living arrangements, and the relationship that you had with the children. The judge does, however, still give a lot of deference to the parent's wishes, so it's not guaranteed. Because the law is still developing in this area, if you meet the basic requirement, it's a good idea to hire a local attorney to assist you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

is there something i can do without hiring a lawyer? are there any documents that i can file or use???

If you can get to a law library, they should have books that show you what the Complaint would usually look like, and you can copy their samples. Philadelphia has a Complaint of Custody online that may help, along with instructions. If you're not in Philadelphia, you still may be able to use it as an outline to see what the paperwork looks like.

Another option is to check sites such as or They often have user-created forms that would fit your needs.

If you call the courthouse before you go, they will tell you what the filing fees are. If you can't afford those fees, they should have forms you can use to request a waiver. Also check the website for the court in your county, because they should have cover sheets.
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