May 21, 2014 | Family Law

Each family in Wisconsin has a different family dynamic. No family is quite the same as another, but the hope is that children in the families are being cared for properly. There is no one right way to care for a child, but their needs must be met. Also, the children need to be in a safe environment. However, not all parents are able to provide the proper care. Some have drug or alcohol addictions or other issues that prevent them from being proper parents. In situations like this more and more grandparents are stepping in to raise the children.

One grandparent recently told her story. She is currently raising two of her grandchildren. The grandmother suspected that her son and daughter-in-law were using drugs and knew there was abuse in their home. When the child was born, the grandmother gave the parents one hour to own up to their issues and when they did not, she called the police. The child was born with meth in his system and after a court battle they were granted custody of their grandson. They have raised him ever since his birth.

Another child recalled growing up in his grandparents’ home as his parents were not fit to be parents. He said now that he is grown up, he truly respects his grandmother and knows he would not be where he is without her upbringing.

There are many other stories like the situations outlined above, but not all grandparents are aware of the legal actions they can take to gain custody of their grandchildren. Many raise the children voluntarily, but never have any legal rights over the children. Grandparents’ rights is a unique area of family law, which may be very valuable for people in this position. Gaining custody of their grandchildren can be important for these grandparents as there are many resources available to them, if they have physical custody of their grandchildren. Especially since many are around the age of retirement and may have a fixed income.

Many grandparents in Illinois are raising their grandchildren. Gaining legal custody of their grandchildren can be very valuable for many reasons. Grandparents should educate themselves on their legal rights and the legal process for gaining custody of their grandchildren.

Source:, “Growing up with grandparents: The responsibility, reward and resources,” Emily Valerio, May 12, 2014