Grandparents play a vital role in a child’s life. They are the keepers of family tradition and have the accumulated wisdom of many years, which can play a significant factor in the child’s future success. The grandparents’ role is particularly important when the parents are unable or have limited ability to care for the child. As society changes and nontraditional patterns of family organization grow, grandparents’ legal rights is becoming an increasingly important area of family law.
Because exercising these rights can be challenging and complex, seeking the guidance of an experienced Chandler grandparents’ rights attorney is a wise investment.
The evolution of grandparents’ rights
Until recently, grandparents’ rights were barely recognized. By law, parents were considered solely responsible for caring for and disciplining their children. Even if one or more grandparents lived in the same household with the grandchildren, grandparents typically provided only babysitting services and perhaps support and guidance. Discipline and punishment usually were left up to the parents, and the grandparents took custody and control of the child or children only if both parents were unavailable or deceased.
Unfortunately, more children today are subject to difficult home situations. Drug addiction among parents has skyrocketed, and the current downturn in the economy certainly hasn’t helped matters. The sad reality is that, for a variety of reasons, more and more parents are having difficulty taking care of and providing for their own needs let alone those of their children.
When this happens, the most obvious, readily available adults to step in and care for children typically are the grandparents. That’s because grandparents tend to be the most dependable family members. Also, they usually have more money to spend on and more time to spend with the kids than anyone else.
Courts are becoming increasingly likely to recognize the legal rights grandparents have relative to their grandchildren. Still, these rights continue to be tempered by the superior rights of the children’s parents.