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Children living with grandparents post-divorce

Going through a divorce with children can often lead to different family dynamics. For many divorcing couples in New Mexico, this means developing a co-parenting plan or obtaining sole custody of the children. However, some parents might not be able to maintain physical custody of their children. In some case, grandparents step in and obtain custody of grandchildren.

Invoking grandparents' rights is not always an easy process. Despite that, the number of children living with grandparents post-divorce is increasing. According to U.S. census figures from 2010, roughly 4.9 million children are being raised by their grandparents. This figure is over double the recorded number in 2000.

Unfortunately, there are times when it is determined that it is no longer safe for children to remain with a biological parent. Whether it is because of domestic violence, mental disorders, financial problems, substance abuse, incarceration or any other similar reason, grandparents often step up to care for and gain custody of their grandchildren. And, because grandparents are likely to provide the same family values they had when raising the parent, this is both comforting to the parent and the children involved.

Just like raising a grandchild is not an easy task, obtaining permanent or temporary custody of a grandchild can be challenging. Because of that, grandparents should fully understand the rights afforded to them in these and other situations. This not only helps grandparents in their efforts to obtain custody or visitation rights, it ensures the best interests of the child are met.

Source: Desert News, "At granny's house: More children raised by grandparents than before," Lois M. Collins, Aug. 5, 2014

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