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Grandparent custody on the rise

An increasingly frequent issue a Maryland child custody lawyer in Maryland sees involves grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren. Over the past 15 years, the number of grandparents who have custodial care has risen markedly from what it once was. There are various reasons for this including a lack of ability on the part of the parents to care for the child and financial woes. In some cases, the parents are deemed unfit and a grandparent must retain a grandparent's rights attorney to get custody of the children for the child's safety.

Approximately 7 percent of children under the age of 18 - nearly 5 million - were living with a grandparent according to the most recent census data. That was a rise from 4.5 million in 2000. 20 percent don't have any parenting from their biological parents at all and the grandparents are completely responsible for their care and upkeep. This is a statistical reduction from the previous census and might have something to do with families choosing to live in one household with grandparents, parents and children.

The racial makeup of grandparent custody shows some interesting numbers. Of the grandparents who have grandchildren under their care, 51 percent are white. That is an increase of five percent from the prior numbers. In African-American homes, the number is 24 percent, a reduction of four percent. Hispanic and Latino grandparents caring for children has reduced from 20 percent to 19 percent. No matter the numbers, the fact that so many grandparents are taking custody of grandchildren shows how prevalent the issues surrounding the decision to have grandparents take the children can be.

Grandparents might not have planned to suddenly be caring for grandchildren after they reached a certain point in their lives, but in some instances it's unavoidable for the safety of the child. Maryland child custody laws must be understood when it comes to grandparents seeking custody. Some of these cases can grow contentious as the parent doesn't want to surrender the child. It is in situations such as this that a child custody lawyer in Maryland should be sought for advice on how to move forward with a legal filing or try to come to an amicable solution.

Source: AARP.org, "More Grandparents Raising Grandkids," Amy Goyer, accessed on Sep. 23, 2014

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