Do Grandparents Rights Matter?
Expert statistics say that there are about 65 million grandparents living in the United States as of the most recent studies (as of 2012, when the last study was conducted). According to the most recent findings by the U.S. Census Bureau, the grandparent role has changed radically in recent times, with 7 million grandparents who are living with at least one grandchild, sometimes due to grandparent rights.
Rewind back to 1992, and this number was a meager 7 percent, denoting a 3 percent increase in just over a decade. The findings also revealed that in about 3 percent of all U.S. households, which equates to 4.2 million households, there were children under the age of 18, where many times due to grandparent rights, the grandparent was the primary custody holder and assigned custodian and caregiver.
As of 2012, over 2.7 million grandparents in the U.S. were solely responsible for raising their grandchildren. Astonishingly, roughly 39 percent of them had been the sole caregivers for these children for at least five years or longer.
In 2012, 2.7 million grandparents in the U.S. were raising their grandchildren. About 39 percent of these grandparent caregivers have cared for their grandchildren for five years or more.
The study yielded a number of other interesting findings, which are listed below.
• Most grandparents living with children tended to be younger and did not have a formal college education, so poverty levels were higher in these instances.
• Grandparents ages 30-39 represented just 2 percent of this demographic; ages 50-59 represented 34 percent; ages 80 and over comprised four percent.
• Female grandparents represented 64.2 percent of this demographic.
• Over 49 percent of children being raised by their grandparents lived with both of the grandparents on a full-time basis.
• About one-third of all children living with their grandparents also had their two biological parents living with them, too.
• In most situations, children living with their grandparents were on public insurance and were receiving public assistance.
There are certain rights that are bestowed upon grandparents who are directly related to the grandchildren. In cases where it’s in the best interest of the children, full or partial custody may be awarded. In cases where visitation comes into question, certain state and federal bylaws apply that can differ from state to state.
In most cases, grandparents have at least the right to visitation. Since family law can be complex, and can vary between different states, if you are interested in learning more about your grandparent rights, it’s advised that you contact a legal professional that specializes in this area of law.