A lot of grandparents will tell parents all too gleefully that it is way more fun to be a grandparent than a parent. They get to pack children with sweets and take them on fun trips while putting less into discipline and all the drags of parenthood. But there are times when grandparents have to step up and take care of an entire childhood.
Families used to be a lot closer, with many generations of a clan living on place among the more common residences in early America. Although family homes are generally smaller in scope now, the law still recognizes the closeness of family between more than one immediate generation.
The grandparents usually get to have all the fun with the kids and the parents call the shots. For the most part, this arrangement works out just fine. However, when parents make questionable decisions and the grandparents want to intervene or when the two parties become estranged, grandparents in Indiana may wonder if they have any legal rights.
Gaining legal guardianship or custody of your grandchildren can be a challenging undertaking, in addition to sometimes being heartbreaking and frustrating. If you find yourself with the task of raising your grandchildren, you are not alone. Countless grandparents in Indiana and elsewhere are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren.
Indiana SB 106 was introduced in January 2019 and it is still pending. If approved, the bill would mean some big changes for grandparent and great grandparent visitation rights. Indiana’s current statute allows grandparents to seek visitation in very limited circumstances. Those circumstances include the death of the grandchild’s parent, the grandchild’s parents divorcing, or the grandchild being born out of wedlock. SB 106 would make the following changes to current law for grandparents' rights.
For many adults in Indiana, they can look back on their lives with fond memories of at least one grandparent who played a special part in their life and development. The love that a grandmother or grandfather has for their grandchildren is special and the bond created between these generations can enhance the lives of both parties in unique ways. In most cases, it is expected that the grandparent can provide some education and nurturing without having to bear the responsibility of actually raising a child. However, for some families a grandparent does just this as well.
In Indiana, there are laws used to determine matters of child custody and visitation rights for grandparents. In many cases, these laws can be more intricate and confusing than a person may be expecting, and it can actually be quite hard for a grandparent to gain custody in the end. However, it isn't impossible.
If you are a grandparent in Indiana who either has custody of your grandchildren or who is seeking how to get custody of your grandchildren, it can be helpful for you to know that you are not alone. Certainly, most people do not assume that they will need to raise their grandchildren but there can be many situations that necessitate this. These include the premature death of a parent, substance abuse, mental illness and more. Regardless of the reason, grandparents can and often do step in to provide the stability and support children need.
If you are a grandparent seeking the legal right to visit your grandchildren, you likely know that Indiana grants you the option to petition for visitation. There are several different factors that may affect a court's ruling on your petition. For example, if you are a paternal grandparent to a child born out of wedlock, a court usually cannot grant you visitation rights without your son establishing paternity of the child. If a court grants you visitation rights, there may be changes to your situation if someone adopts the child.
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.