Families in Virginia come in many varieties, and sometimes, children are raised by other relatives besides their parents. The recent opioid crisis has resulted in a rise in the number of grandparents who are raising their own grandchildren. This is because adults addicted to opioids are often unable to raise their children. Though most grandparents are more than willing to take on the responsibility, child custody is straining their financial resources. One out-of-state lawmaker is hoping to help grandparents with the added costs.
The senator wants to utilize money from a fund known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Though these grandparents receive medical care and food stamps from the state, they are still struggling financially, especially when they need to care for more than one grandchild. In that state alone, almost 77,000 grandparents are taking care of their grandchildren, with nearly half of them giving care for five years or longer.
The bill would provide funding to any relative caring for children. Receiving the money would also be contingent on several factors such as the caregiver’s income, the age of the children and whether a judge issued the custody order. Supporters of the bill hope that it will result in more stable homes for children who may have experienced a significant amount of stress over their family situation.
Child custody can be a complex issue, especially when someone other than the child’s parents need to provide care. Anyone here in Virginia with questions on how to create or modify an existing child custody agreement may want to speak with an experienced family law attorney. The bottom line is that children require proper care to flourish, and there are legal means to make that happen.