Grandparents become essential for nontraditional families

Almost 7.8 million children live in homes where their grandparents are present. While this doesn't mean that the children live only with their grandparents, 4.9 million children reportedly live in homes where their grandparents are the heads of the household.

This number increased with the recession of 2008, as grandparents are frequently relied on in American society as safety nets. As the nontraditional family structure becomes more traditional in American society, whether because of divorce, or single parents never getting married, grandparents are playing an increasingly important role in their grandchildren's lives.

Some social scientists compare grandparents to the National Guard. They come in and are ready to help at a moments notice, but are only relied on in emergencies. However, in some situation, grandparents are crucial in raising a child and supporting them financially. Some grandparents might even need to take on full responsibility of their grandchildren depending on the child custody situation of the parent and other family issues.

Grandparents may had rights to seek legal responsibility of their grandchildren. Speaking with an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney might be a wise decision for some grandparents who take custodial responsibilities.

They can help a grandparent seek the rights that they need to help their grandchildren develop in the best environment possible. While these decisions are not always easy for families to make, it is important that children have their wellbeing protected. Whether a grandparent wants to seek custody of their grandchildren or play a different legal role in their live, an attorney can explain grandparents' rights and help them throughout the legal process.

Source: Washington Post, "As families become more complicated, more grandparents care for kids, study says," Tara Bahrampour, Nov. 5, 2013

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