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Grandparents fight each other for child custody

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, many grandparents are raising their own grandchildren. Some of these grandparents will not just raise the children — they will seek permanent child custody. Two divorced grandparents are actually fighting each other for child custody of their only granddaughter.

Although highly-functioning, the 8-year-old granddaughter is autistic and requires special care. Her mother has been missing for nearly two months and police believe she is no longer alive. The child’s father cannot have any contact with her, as he is facing charges stemming from tampering with evidence in his wife’s case.

The grandfather, who has been living in England and has only moved back since his daughter disappeared, has petitioned the court for sole guardianship and manager of property owned by his daughter and son-in-law. His ex-wife found out about the petition a week after it was filed and is confused, as she has been the primary caregiver to the child since her birth, allowing the parents to maintain their business of running an assisted-living facility. Her attorney has filed an intervention, requesting the grandmother be named guardian and property manager. A decision is expected to be made in an upcoming custody hearing.

A child custody dispute can evoke supercharged emotions for all involved. Many times the focus is taken off the best interests of the child and is locked onto the affected adults and their wishes. A Pennsylvania attorney will ensure the child is top priority when guiding a client within the legal confines of a courtroom.