Even several years ago, many children in Arizona and across the country wound up living with their grandparents for a number of reasons. While some of these children were placed with their grandparents as part of the state’s child welfare system, many others lived with grandparents without the state’s intervention, either with or without their parents also being in the home.
According to some relatively recent statistics, a little over 50,000 grandparents claimed that they were the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. The clear majority of these grandparents are what one might think of as young, being under 60 years old themselves. Contrary to what might be a misconception, children do tend to fare okay financially while with their grandparents, as only 1 in 5 households headed up by a grandparent suffered under poverty.
What this all means legally is that grandparents’ rights such as relative visitation rights are likely a very important topic for many residents of the Phoenix area. Many grandparents are forging close relationships with their grandchildren by caring for them and providing for their daily needs. In many other cases, grandparents might not live with their grandchildren but still spend a lot of time with them.
These sorts of relationships deserve to be protected. While it is true that, ultimately, a child’s parent should have the final say in the child’s upbringing, including questions of which relatives should get to associate with the child and for how long, the law does recognize the value of the grandparent and grandchild relationship and does have provisions designed to protect this relationship.