Georgia families increasingly do not conform to the traditional concepts. Children are not always raised by married parents who stay married until their deaths. Children may split time between divorced parents’ homes, they may be raised by one parent alone, they may have step-parents, could be raised by grandparents, aunts and uncles or other people who take on the responsibility of raising the children.
Other than the parents, individuals who raise children do not necessarily have legal rights to raise the children when they begin caring for them. This can lead to complications as they raise them if people question whether they have the legal authority to make certain decisions for the children. However, there is a way that people who are not the children’s parents, but have provided significant care for the children, can receive legal rights to the children.
Requirements for becoming an equitable caregiver
Under the equitable caregiver statute people have a chance to be given rights. They must meet certain requirements in order to gain the legal rights though. These requirements are:
- That they are committed to permanently being the child’s caregiver.
- That they have consistently cared for the child.
- The relationship was allowed and encouraged by the child’s parent.
- They provided the care without expectation of payment.
- The child will suffer harm if the relationship ceases and it is in the best interests of the child to continue the relationship.
In many situations when children are raised by people other than their parents in Georgia because it is what is best for the children. There are many reasons why parents are unable to raise their children. Luckily in some situations there are other family members available and willing to care for these children. It is important that these individuals have the legal rights and resources they need to raise them though. Experienced attorneys understand how to receive these legal rights and may be able to guide one through the process.