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Many resources available for grandparents raising grandkids

Changes in society and separations of couples with children have dramatically changed the way youths in Arizona survive and thrive. For a growing number of families, the best possible situation for the children is to have them live with grandparents. These cases are bringing about many changes in the area of family law.

U.S. Census statistics show that the number of children living with their grandparents doubled to 4.9 million between 2000 and 2010. Experts say these types of living arrangements are put in place by either families or the authorities when children are no longer safe in the care of their parents. In many cases, the arrangement is made because both the child and his or her parents likely feel comfortable with the situation.

With more and more grandparents raising their grandchildren, the numbers of resources available have also grown. Today, adults can find information online through many different avenues that can help them cope with changes in children and their environment over time. State agencies are compiling information to assist grandparents, and other organizations, such as AARP, are working with second-time parents to provide assistance with funding, support, and more.

Though public support is available from various reliable sources, grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren may also find that they need assistance from a family lawyer as well. There are many different problems that could arise, beginning with obtaining custody of the child on a temporary or permanent basis. From there, the child's grandparents could require help accessing medical records, enrolling the child in school, and getting copies of his or her birth certificate and Social Security number. An attorney with experience in family law can lend a valuable hand during the grandparents' transition.

Source: Deseret News, "At granny's house: More children raised by grandparents than before", Lois M. Collins, August 05, 2014

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