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To be clear, is it true that even while a Judge has ruled…

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To be clear, is it...
To be clear, is it true that even while a Judge has ruled not to terminate our granddaughter's biological father's rights due only to the fact that he has a job (his third job in 8 months) and a roof over his head (his mother is renting the house for both of them) and he does not have a plan yet for childcare so that now he has ordered the social , we could still simultaneously in the same Lehigh County Courthouse apply for custody (because we have a few new facts to present that were not presented) and would this be reviewed at a future hearing before a master, not a Judge and who would win out if they disagreed? We are doing this because we dearly love our granddaughter and fear for her safety if the biological father relapses and /or is insincere? Please verify and clarify this for us. Meanwhile we are also trying to see if there is an adoption lawyer in our area to help us to navigate this although we have the forms we need.
Thanks!
Sincerely,
Denise and David Myers
Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 20 hours by:
3/11/2018
Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,569
Experience: Experienced Family Law Attorney
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

Yes unfortunately terminating parental rights is a very high burden; here is that statute:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/23/00.025.011.000..HTM

2511. Grounds for involuntary termination.

(a) General rule.--The rights of a parent in regard to a child may be terminated after a petition filed on any of the following grounds:

(1) The parent by conduct continuing for a period of at least six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition either has evidenced a settled purpose of relinquishing parental claim to a child or has refused or failed to perform parental duties.

(2) The repeated and continued incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal of the parent has caused the child to be without essential parental care, control or subsistence necessary for his physical or mental well-being and the conditions and causes of the incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal cannot or will not be remedied by the parent.

(3) The parent is the presumptive but not the natural father of the child.

(4) The child is in the custody of an agency, having been found under such circumstances that the identity or whereabouts of the parent is unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent search and the parent does not claim the child within three months after the child is found.

(5) The child has been removed from the care of the parent by the court or under a voluntary agreement with an agency for a period of at least six months, the conditions which led to the removal or placement of the child continue to exist, the parent cannot or will not remedy those conditions within a reasonable period of time, the services or assistance reasonably available to the parent are not likely to remedy the conditions which led to the removal or placement of the child within a reasonable period of time and termination of the parental rights would best serve the needs and welfare of the child.

(6) In the case of a newborn child, the parent knows or has reason to know of the child's birth, does not reside with the child, has not married the child's other parent, has failed for a period of four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition to make reasonable efforts to maintain substantial and continuing contact with the child and has failed during the same four-month period to provide substantial financial support for the child.

(7) The parent is the father of a child conceived as a result of a rape or incest.

(8) The child has been removed from the care of the parent by the court or under a voluntary agreement with an agency, 12 months or more have elapsed from the date of removal or placement, the conditions which led to the removal or placement of the child continue to exist and termination of parental rights would best serve the needs and welfare of the child.

(9) The parent has been convicted of one of the following in which the victim was a child of the parent:

(i) an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 25 (relating to criminal homicide);

(ii) a felony under 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702 (relating to aggravated assault);

(iii) an offense in another jurisdiction equivalent to an offense in subparagraph (i) or (ii); or

(iv) an attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit an offense in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii).

(10) The parent has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have committed sexual abuse against the child or another child of the parent based on a judicial adjudication as set forth in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) or (4) of the definition of "founded report" in section 6303(a) (relating to definitions) where the judicial adjudication is based on a finding of "sexual abuse or exploitation" as defined in section 6303(a).

(11) The parent is required to register as a sexual offender under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 97 Subch. H (relating to registration of sexual offenders) or to register with a sexual offender registry in another jurisdiction or foreign country.

(b) Other considerations.--The court in terminating the rights of a parent shall give primary consideration to the developmental, physical and emotional needs and welfare of the child. The rights of a parent shall not be terminated solely on the basis of environmental factors such as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical care if found to be beyond the control of the parent. With respect to any petition filed pursuant to subsection (a)(1), (6) or (8), the court shall not consider any efforts by the parent to remedy the conditions described therein which are first initiated subsequent to the giving of notice of the filing of the petition.

However that is separate and apart from third party (grandparent) custody. The court, when determining custody, will look to the best interests of the child.

Generally the court will favor the parent over a grandparent but that depends on the circumstances; these are the factors the court will consider:

5327. Presumption in cases concerning primary physical custody.

(a) Between parents.--In any action regarding the custody of the child between the parents of the child, there shall be no presumption that custody should be awarded to a particular parent.

(b) Between a parent and third party.--In any action regarding the custody of the child between a parent of the child and a nonparent, there shall be a presumption that custody shall be awarded to the parent. The presumption in favor of the parent may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.

(c) Between third parties.--In any action regarding the custody of the child between a nonparent and another nonparent, there shall be no presumption that custody should be awarded to a particular party.

§ 5328. Factors to consider when awarding custody.

(a) Factors.--In ordering any form of custody, the court shall determine the best interest of the child by considering all relevant factors, giving weighted consideration to those factors which affect the safety of the child, including the following:

(1) Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party.

(2) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party's household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child.

(2.1) The information set forth in section 5329.1(a) (relating to consideration of child abuse and involvement with protective services).

(3) The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child.

(4) The need for stability and continuity in the child's education, family life and community life.

(5) The availability of extended family.

(6) The child's sibling relationships.

(7) The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child's maturity and judgment.

(8) The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm.

(9) Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child's emotional needs.

(10) Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child.

(11) The proximity of the residences of the parties.

(12) Each party's availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements.

(13) The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another. A party's effort to protect a child from abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate with that party.

(14) The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party's household.

(15) The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party's household.

(16) Any other relevant factor.

(b) Gender neutral.--In making a determination under subsection (a), no party shall receive preference based upon gender in any award granted under this chapter.

(c) Grandparents and great-grandparents.--

(1) In ordering partial physical custody or supervised physical custody to a party who has standing under section 5325(1) or (2) (relating to standing for partial physical custody and supervised physical custody), the court shall consider the following:

(i) the amount of personal contact between the child and the party prior to the filing of the action;

(ii) whether the award interferes with any parent-child relationship; and

(iii) whether the award is in the best interest of the child.

(2) In ordering partial physical custody or supervised physical custody to a parent's parent or grandparent who has standing under section 5325(3), the court shall consider whether the award:

(i) interferes with any parent-child relationship; and

(ii) is in the best interest of the child.

So essentially the court will determine the best situation for the child and rule accordingly; the court may also grant the parent visitation (or supervised visitation) and may even require the parent to pay the grandparents child support.

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Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

Hello; just checking in on the above.
If you have further questions please post here and I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Otherwise
kindly rate positively (hopefully you feel I have earned 5 stars) to help maintain my high customer satisfaction score and so I know you were satisfied with my services.

The above information is for educational purposes only. An attorney in one's jurisdiction can be located at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_services/flh-home.html
Thank you.

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