Drug addictions among parents can have devastating consequences for Virginia children. Grandparents across the state are finding themselves back in the parenting role, a situation that can be extremely challenging but often represents the best possible solution for the children involved.
Virginia law places particular emphasis on parents’ rights in raising children but is less specific about the rights and roles of grandparents. Thus, if you have been denied access to your grandchildren by one or both parents, you must provide powerful evidence that time with Grandma and Grandpa are crucial to your grandchildren’s well-being.
When a troubled family situation puts grandchildren at risk, Virginia grandparents often step up to provide a loving, stable home. However, becoming a parent again in the years leading up to or following retirement can cause severe financial strain. Here are some of the resources that may be available to grandparents caring for their grandchildren.
When a divorce means that one or both parents and their children must move, Virginia grandparents may find themselves trying to maintain strong relationships with grandchildren across county, state or even international lines. Long-distance grandparenting can be challenging, but modern technology has eased the way for far-flung families to stay in close communication.
When divorce threatens their grandchildren’s best interests, Virginia grandparents are often willing to step up to serve as primary caregivers. These grandparents may face financial strain both during and after the battle for custody.
When divorce and other domestic upheavals threaten their grandchildren's well-being, Virginia grandparents often step in to provide a stable home. This return to parenthood brings many challenges, particularly when the children involved have been traumatized by an unstable home environment.
When divorce comes with the pain and anxiety of a custody battle, grandparents may fear that they will lose contact with their beloved grandchildren. However, Virginia grandparents have a strong case in court for visitation rights regardless of which parent receives custody.
Most Virginia residents are excited about the potential of becoming grandparents. They often hold dreams of loving and even spoiling a little bit their new loves without the burden of the full parenting responsibilities that they carried when they had their own children. However, many grandparents end up needing to step in as parents. This may be due to parental death, illness, legal challenges or other reasons.
Even with the continued evolution of what constitutes a family, many people in Virginia still consider the standard nuclear family of a mother, a father and the children to be the norm. While this may be true, it is far from the only definition of a family. There are many single-parent households, blended families, same-sex marriages with children and more that make that point very clear. In addition, there are several instances in which a grandparent may be raising children instead of the biological parents. In some of these cases, the grandparents may actually have legal guardianship over their grandchildren.
It is not uncommon for grandparents in Virginia to take on the responsibility of raising their children’s children. According to AARP, raising grandchildren may require outside support. Many custodial grandparents are looking to community organizations, friends and designated peer groups to help ease the emotional overload that comes with raising grandchildren.