Here’s a sad scenario: Grandma and Grandpa pay for camp, shoes and college funds. But something goes awry; the kids’ parents decide to split, and next thing you know it’s Grandma and Grandpa who are out in the cold, writing checks but missing their grandchildren.
Think that couldn’t happen? There are at least two trends that point to more of the above. Grandparents are helping their progeny more than ever; the AARP reported that a quarter spent more than a $1,000 a year on their grandkids, with 37 percent saying that they helped cover daily living costs.
At the same time, grandparents’ rights to see and spend time with their grandchildren have become more difficult to litigate since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2000, Troxel v. Granville, which struck down a Washington state law that allowed courts to order visitation rights for grandparents if they would be in the child’s “best interest.” Since then, many states have struck down their relevant laws and not rewritten them.
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