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In recent years there has been increased awareness of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. There can be many reasons why grandparents become custodians. There may have been tragedy or trouble involving the child’s parents, including death, illness, incarceration or severe substance abuse problems. In other cases, the parent of the grandchild may request the help of the grandparent, or sometimes, a parent’s abuse or neglect of the child forces the State to place the child with the grandparent or other family member. In other instances, the grandparent may feel that they must take action to remove the child from the parent for the safety of the child.
While caring for grandchildren may start out as an informal agreement, there are many reasons why the custodial relationship should be formalized, through legal proceedings, such as guardianship or legal custody. Such legal status may be necessary to provide consent to medical care or to obtain financial assistance. In addition, a court order for custody or guardianship may well be necessary if you have particular concerns about a parent:
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Published by Illinois Legal Aid
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