For many grandparents, the only thing that can surpass their love for their children is the love they have for their grandchildren. Nationally, statistics over the last 14 years in particular show evidence that more and more grandparents are responsible for caring for their grandchildren. Currently, 2.9 million grandparents have taken over child-rearing responsibilities from their own children. And, as many Pennsylvanians undoubtedly understand, it can be far more difficult for grandparents for a variety of reasons.
Parenting can be difficult. There are times when Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, parents are deemed unfit and the child's needs, as well as their overall well-being, are compromised. In many cases, as complicated as it may seem, grandparents take the responsibility for the unfit parents.
When Pennsylvanians talk about child custody battles, they are usually mainly referring to two people: the parents. As society changes with each passing year and decade, though, custody cases have increasingly become the concern of grandparents who have often decided to take primary care of their grandchildren when their own children cannot for various reasons.
In Pennsylvania and in states across the United States, any discussion about the custody of children focuses on their best interests. This mostly happens in divorce cases, but increasingly grandparents are having to consider those interests because they are stepping up when their children are deemed unfit parents or are otherwise incapable of raising their grandchildren.
Older Americans, including many living in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are the primary caregivers of their children's children, a trend that is likely to continue, due to nontraditional family structures that are so common today. Many grandchildren also live in households headed by their grandparents, often without benefit of a parent in the household as well. Nontraditional family structures such as single parenting, unplanned parenthood, divorce and remarriage of their children are often reasons why grandparents assume some parenting responsibility of their grandchildren.
Grandparents can oftentimes play an important role for families in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are often considered the children's second parents and they teach the child values and get involved with fun activities with them. Even if the parents divorce, grandparents still have legal rights to their grandchildren.
Today, Philadelphia residents are aware that the roles of grandparents have changed. They are more attached to their grandchildren and some of them even step up in child custody disputes by exercising their grandparents' rights. Child custody disputes are sometimes settled by awarding visitation rights for grandparents, who have forged an unbreakable bond with their grandchildren.
Many grandparents look forward to being a big part of their grandchildren's lives. Recently though, a national trend has been developing in which grandparents become de facto parents of their own grandchildren. Many courts are granting custody for grandparents to raise their grandchildren directly.
Many people consider the grandparents to be their children's second parents. The law may award grandparents custody and visitation rights to allow the grandparents to continue their relationship with their grandchildren. Guidelines regarding grandparents' rights may vary depending on the state. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there may be a situation where a grandparent might need to exercise these rights.