More children are spending part of their childhood living with grandma and grandpa than ever before. In California and other states, the number of child custody cases involving grandparents has doubled since 1970, with a 7 percent increase since 2013. A study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 3 percent of kids live away from their parents nationwide, and two-thirds of them are being raised by grandparents.
With retirement on the horizon, thoughts of travel, socializing and relaxation come to mind for most older individuals instead of becoming full-time parents again. After being cast back into this familiar role, grandparents may have mixed feelings of anger and resentment over being robbed of the simple and ordinary pleasures of grandparenthood relationships. However, some grandparents report taking on this new responsibility of child-rearing has given them a new sense of purpose and involvement.
About 2.6 million grandparents have been assigned the task of raising their grandchildren, and it is taking a toll on them. Studies show they have chronic health issues paired with feelings of isolation, exhaustion and loneliness. In California and elsewhere, poverty is often high among grandparents raising grandkids, and over 40 percent reported they have economic needs that are unmet.
While their homes offer consistency and stability to chaotic young lives, many grandparents have no legal authority. Some fail to pursue supportive services for assistance because they are fearful that interference from outside agencies could result in the child being taken from them. With the best interest of the child in mind, a well-informed child custody attorney can help clients cut through the red tape and get the support they need.