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Grandparents' rights issues arising more frequently

An increasingly prevalent issue in Dallas and across the state involves grandparents' rights and the best interests of the child. Parents who are having issues coping with the raising of a child, are experiencing personal or legal trouble, or simply renounce child custody rights to allow the grandparents to raise the child happens more and more often in today's society. While it may seem unusual for grandparents who might have thought they were done raising young children to be repeating the process, it's often for the best.

One particular couple is raising the mother's daughter's children, ages 7 and 6. They are taking an active role in the lives of the children with involvement in school, extracurricular activities and athletics. They are not alone and nothing seems out of the ordinary until it's realized that they're the grandparents and not the parents. The most recent United States census data has shown that as many as 2.5 million grandparents have taken over the raising of the grandchildren. 300,000 of them are in the state of Texas. The grandparents who are caring for the 7 and 6-year-olds took over when their mother of the kids was having health problems including alcoholism. The state stepped in with the mother and the grandparents took the children in. This is not an isolated case.

In some instances, the grandparents take over the children in a child custody dispute. In others, it's because the biological parent couldn't effectively raise the children for one reason or another. The best interests of the child must always come to the forefront in any child custody dispute. Many parents and grandparents are getting caught up in the emotions of a disagreement and lose sight of the important point that it's the children who should be of primary concern. There are numerous methods to settle a custody disagreement and, in a best case scenario, it will be done with agreement of all parties in an amicable fashion.

For grandparents who are considering trying to gain custody of children, are in the midst of a dispute over custody or have questions as to how to go about getting custody, one of the most important decisions they can make is to have the proper legal advice.

Source: San Antonio Express News, "Bringing up grandbabies," Stefanie Arias, Oct. 27, 2014

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