Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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Grandparents raising grandchildren face unique challenges

Being a parent can be one of the most demanding and high-pressure jobs a person can have. But once a child grows up and starts a family of his or her own, the child becomes the parent and the parent becomes the grandparent, which can be very different from being a parent

In many cases, grandparents don't have to worry as much about things like disciplining the child, taking the child to doctor's appointments or paying for school. However, if a grandparent is, in fact, responsible for these things because he or she has custody of the grandchild, there are some unique challenges that can arise.

One of the most considerable issues grandparents can face stems from financial stability. In many cases, grandparents were not planning to have custody of a grandchild. This means that many are not economically prepared to take on the cost of legal expenses stemming from securing custody in the first place and the cost of providing food, shelter, clothes and other necessities for another person.

To make matters worse, many grandparents live on a fixed income through retirement funds, government benefits or paychecks that are likely not going to get any larger. Additionally, it is not common for grandparents to receive child support.

Because of these and other factors, grandparents raising grandchild may have to make some serious sacrifices. As noted in this article in the Washington Post, grandparents who have custody of grandchildren are reportedly two times more likely to go hungry than grandparents who are not financially responsible for a grandchild.

While this can all sound daunting and make grandparents hesitant to seek or accept custody of a grandchild, the fact is doing so often makes a world of difference to the grandchild who stands to benefit from the care of a grandparent. With legal support and guidance, grandparents and other family members involved in these difficult situations can work to protect the child's well-being and hopefully avoid any costly missteps.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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