What is it?
Standing is the determination of whether a specific person is the proper party to bring a matter to the court. (Ask: Do I have standing to bring this custody action?)
Who has it?
In Pennsylvania, standing requirements limit who may seek custody of a child to the following individuals:
1. A parent of the child
2. A person who stands in loco parentis to the child (A third party who acts as a parent)
3. A grandparent or great-grandparent of the child under certain conditions
4. Other individuals under certain condition
A standing determination must be made before proceeding to a custody action. This means you need to have standing in order to file for custody.
The concept of standing ensures that a party has a substantial, direct, and immediate interest in the subject matter of the litigation. Here, that means that a party seeking custody has a substantial interest in attaining that custody and caring for the child involved. A strict application of standing principles serves to protect the interest in keeping a family unit free from intrusion by those that are merely strangers, however well-meaning.
Do I have Standing?