Increasingly, grandparents across Indiana and many other states are finding themselves spending their “golden years” raising their own grandchildren, and if you are among them, you may understand all too well that doing so has its challenges. Maybe you are raising your grandchild because his or her parents have passed away and can longer do so, or perhaps you are looking to assume the responsibility because your grandchild’s parents are in jail, on drugs or what have you. Regardless of your reasoning for raising your grandchildren, Attorney Robert Schembs recognizes that there are certain challenges that often accompany the process, and he has helped many people in similar situations overcome these challenges and otherwise navigate complicated custody or visitation issues.
According to IN.gov, more than 60,000 Indiana grandparents care for their grandchildren in their own homes, and many of them face similar hurdles in doing so. Often, older Americans who end up raising their grandchildren do so rather suddenly, leaving them little time to prepare for the transition. There are, however, some steps you can take as a grandparent to make the custody arrangement easier on everyone involved.
For starters, acknowledge that it is perfectly acceptable for you to feel stress, anxiety or even anger or resentment because of your current situation. You may have thought you were done with the child-rearing phase of your life, and it can be tough to accept the fact that your grandchildren now very much need you to adopt that caregiver role. With that in mind, though, recognize that your grandchildren, too, may have similar uncertainties or feelings about the custody arrangement and that the transition should and will take some time to work itself out.
Also, it is important that you communicate with your grandchild in an age-appropriate manner. Your grandchild will undoubtedly have questions about the new living arrangement, and while you should never lie to him or her, you may, depending on circumstances, not want to divulge too much information, either. You can find more about grandparent rights on our webpage.