It’s your golden years. Empty nest syndrome has transitioned into completing your bucket list and reinvesting in yourself and your partner. Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changes. In many cases, children are left without one or both of their parents. It could be for a number of difficult reasons:
- Death or incapacitation
- Medical condition
- Military deployment
- The child is at risk and it’s in their best interest to be removed from the home
Even when a grandparent or immediate family members such as a sibling (aunt/uncle) or step-parent wants to jump in full force and care for the child(ren), the legal hurdles can become overwhelming. Having a family law attorney to guide you through the process of temporary custody or adoption is critical when a child has lost one or both of their parents.
A recent 2016 study showed that nearly 2.7 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren. That’s up 7% from 2009. What families will find is the large amount of local, state and federal guidelines that can impact the transition from grandparent to legal guardian. Everything from school, medical care, housing and transportation to financial and legal assistance can bring a new reality to retirees.
Here are some of the common situations our clients’ have encountered:
- I live in a 55+ community. Will my Association allow for a minor to live with me?
- I’m on a fixed income. Is there financial assistance out there I can apply for?
- I’m a snowbird and only live in Florida part of the year. How will living in two states affect my petition?
Luckily, in the State of Florida it’s getting easier to petition for “Relative Adoption” within the “Third Degree” meaning grandparents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and so forth. With that said, there are many things to consider and having a trusted legal representative to guide you can make a difficult or emotional time a little easier when having to make so many decisions.
Please feel free to contact us in regards to custody, legal guardianship or adoption questions. We are happy to help!