BIG Changes to Grandparent Standing in PA, Part II

Yesterday's blog pertained to the 2015 landmark PA case of Ponko v. Ponko, and the effect it had on Pa. 23 § 5325(2), the statute governing grandparent standing in PA. You can find Part I here if you missed it.

So how has the case affected the future law? On September 6, 2017, the PA legislature introduced Senate Bill No. 844, amending Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in child custody, expanding grandparent standing for partial physical custody and supervised physical custody. Currently § 5325(2) reads that a grandparent has custody standing for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody:

(2) Where the parents of the child have been separated for a period of at least six months or have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their marriage;

As discussed in Part I, the Ponko decision invalidated this subsection on the grounds that it violates both the PA and United States Constitution. Senate Bill No. 844 has amended the subsection to now read that a grandparent has custody standing for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody: 

(2) Where the parents of the child:

(I) have commenced a proceeding for custody; and

(II) do not agree as to whether the grandparents or great-grandparents             should have custody under this section;

This amendment completely removes all elements pertaining to dissolution of the parents' relationship, and instead places the focus on potential disagreements between them regarding grandparent visitation under § 5325. 

To determine if these changes affect your standing for custody, Contact us today to speak with an experienced PA family law attorney!

Stay tuned for Part III, which will discuss the changes Bill No. 844 will have on § 5324 of the standing statute. 

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