Grandmother with custody of grandchild files for child support

According to a Pew Research Center report about one in 10 children in the U.S. lives with a grandparent, and nearly 41 percent of those children are primarily raised by those grandparents. The reasons for a grandparent to adopt the role of a caregiver for their grandchild range greatly, from military deployments, changing employment status of the parents, the parents of the child being deemed unfit by a court or the parents of the child being in prison. Regardless of the reasons, being custodians of their grandchild on a limited income can be difficult.

Florida residents may find it interesting to learn that the maternal grandmother of 6-year-old girl recently filed a motion seeking child support from her son-in-law. According to reports, her son-in-law, who was a researcher, fatally poisoned the woman's neurologist daughter with cyanide. Following an investigation, authorities charged her son-in-law with the death of her daughter. The son-in-law's assets were frozen, and if convicted these assets could be used for restitution.

Given the tragic circumstances surrounding this case, the maternal grandmother was granted custody of her 6-year-old granddaughter. Now, the maternal grandmother is seeking child support from her criminally charged son-in-law. Even though more and more grandparents are playing an active role in raising their grandchildren, generally grandparents' legal rights are limited.

This particular case is unique, but in cases of separation or divorce some parents may not allow grandchildren to have any contact with grandparents, despite the fact that it is often important for grandchildren to have a healthy relationship with their grandparents. But, when tensions between couples arise, the grandparent-grandchild relationship may suffer.

Divorced or divorcing parents can draft a visiting schedule with grandparents to help alleviate some of these concerns. However, when agreement cannot be reached, grandparents' may want to evaluate their legal options.

Source: ABC News, "Grandma Seeks Child Support From Murder Suspect," Aug. 13, 2013

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