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Can a grandparent sue for visitation/custody of a grandchild if the biological parents are married and living as a family.

Clearfield, PA |

My wife's mother (who lives in Missouri) is threatening to sue for visitation because she does not get to see our son more than once a year due to us living in Pennsylvania. Currently I am enrolled in college, have a part-time job and as a result am utilizing public assistance. My wife is worried that since we are using state healthcare and food stamps while I go to school that this puts us in an unfit position and may give her mother some ammunition. Now her mother is, to anyone that knows her, very unstable, possibly mentally ill and been in jail a few times. To me this seems like a no brainer but my wife is very worried of what her mother may be able to do and I just want to give her some comfort.

Note: The grandmother feels that we should travel to her house in Missouri more to visit them when they have not once made an effort to visit my wife (their daughter) and son. We have no issue going to visit when we are able to (generally at least once a year) provided they behave like adults and are not doing anything to put our son in danger. To put it lightly my wife's mother is extremely eccentric and most likely mentally ill so i'm sure any attempt would not be honored however I was just unsure about how much trouble she could stir up.

Attorney Answers 1


Although Pennsylvania allows grandparents to get visitation under certain circumstances, there cannot be interference with your parenting. From what little that you wrote, it does not sound like grandma has an on-going relationship with your child. It would also interfere with the lives that you have. Finally, grandma is too far away. Is she proposing that she be allowed to see her grandchild when she flies out to Pennsylvania? Or is she demanding that you fly your child out to her on your own dime? Consult with an attorney in detail to be sure, but it does not sound like this is a strong case for grandparent visitation.

Also, I have some information on my web site: Feel free to browse around my article and posts.

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Thank you for the information. From what you have said and given the circumstances she would not be entitled to anything she does not already have. We have no problem going to visit and letting our son see his grandmother. Given her state of mind we just were not sure if she could stir up undue problems and stress.

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