In child custody issues, as in many things, there’s the way things are supposed to work, and then there’s the way that the real world complicates that. For many families, the issue is not as simple as who does or does not have custody. Whether it is out of a lack of education in the available legal options, or a desire to not split up the family unit, secondary family members are often stuck in the unenviable position of caring for children who are not their own, while not receiving fair assistance.
Take, for instance, the case of one San Antonio grandmother who made the difficult choice to take in her five grandchildren after they began to be neglected by her son and his girlfriend. However, this practical custody did come wrapped nicely in a bow with additional assistance from the Lone Star state.
Her story is a relatively common one that reflects weaknesses in the state’s systems of relief, many which are operating under decades-old rules about who can and cannot qualify for assistance. For many grandparents, the option is to either take in their grandchildren or see Child Protective Services remove them from the family entirely. Unfortunately, the bureaucracy of Texas assistance programs often necessitates using some considerable legal muscle just to get fair help.
For grandparents who are facing just such a dilemma, it is a credit to them that they desire to maintain a family unit for the children at the heart of the mess. If you are currently facing a difficult decision about how to care for those you love, an experienced attorney can help walk you through the difficult process of finding the best solutions and getting the help you need to create a loving home for the ones who need you the most.
Source: Texas Tribune, “When grandparents step in, state often doesn’t help,” Marissa Evans, Oct. 20, 2016