As American families change child custody laws may follow
As the landscape of American families changes family law including child custody law may reflect the changes that have taken place in American families over the last 50 years. Today more and more families in the United States are blended or headed by single parents. Grandparents are also heading households in the 21st century and the statistics that reflect the pattern are growing. As a result some grandparents are pushing for the rights of parents.
In Kansas, lawmakers have constructed a proposed law that would make grandparents an interested party in a child custody case automatically when grandchildren are threatened to be removed from a parent’s household. Currently, grandparents only receive notice of when their grandchildren may be removed from home and are only given status to be heard in those proceedings by request. Lawmakers say the point of the proposed law is to keep families together and to reflect the reality of grandparents who are already taking care of their grandchildren.
According to testimony for the proposed law, there are over 17,000 grandparents who are the primary caretakers for their grandchildren. The statistic was based on a study conducted in 2006, and since the study the recession has probably created more households where grandparents are primary caretakers. Grandparents also participated in legislative testimonies by giving personal accounts of their second tour in parenting and problems with foster homes with the help of a workers comp lawyer.
Some grandparents told stories where their grandchildren were placed in foster homes after the grandchildren had already lived in their homes. Other grandparents told stories where their grandchildren were allowed to return to the homes of parents who had substance abuse issues. The overall point of the testimonials was that grandparents were often overlooked in the child custody process when parents were no longer able to care.