Q: at 18 can I seek custody of kids who aren't mine but are in a bad/unfit home?
The father of the children received full custody due to the mother not showing up in court due to a threat from the father but has not been proven (he said she said) I've been with the family since I was a child and a witness to domestic abuse (the father to the mother as well as the children) the father who was granted custody does not buy diapers, food or other necessities for the children however makes the 16 year old go and do it for him, the father smokes weed and is barely ever home. At 18 am I able to try for legal custody of the kids if i have a good home and an adequate living wage
A: In PA there are 3 types of individuals who have standing to file for custody:
1.) a parent of the child
2.) a person who stands in loco parentis to the child
3.) a grandparent of the child, in limited circumstances
Pennsylvania courts have found a person to stand in loco parentis to a child when they have taken on parental responsibilities and duties, with the consent of the biological parent. Establishing standing as a third party can be a big hurdle to overcome, but it is possible. Please feel free to read my blog for more information on in loco parentis standing in PA.
Lisa Marie Vari, Esquire
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