New Law Expands Who Can Seek Custody

A new law in Pennsylvania makes it easier for persons who are not parents to file for custody of children. Formerly, to obtain primary custody of a child, one would either have to be a parent, one who stands in loco parentis (someone lived with the child and assumed a parental role), or grandparents under certain circumstances. Where neither parent has any form of “care and control of the child,” the new law expands the ability to seek child custody to anyone who “has assumed or is willing to assume responsibility for the child” and “has a sustained, substantial and sincere interest in the welfare of the child.”

Prior to this law, a concerned sibling, aunt or uncle who wished to assume care for a child when the parents were no longer involved in the child’s life (either due to addiction, imprisonment or other reasons) would have to seek guardianship of the child, an often more arduous and expensive process. Now, they may be able to seek another alternative.

If you have questions or concerns regarding when an individual who is not a parent can seek custody of the child, call the lawyers at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC who have substantial experience in these types of matters and can answer all of your questions and concerns. For more articles exploring different types of custody arrangements and answering common questions, visit the firm’s blog section on child custody.

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