Caregiver Affidavits Make it Easier to Raise Your Grandchildren
Today, there are many grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Similarly there are friends and relatives who are taking responsibility for caring for the children of others. It may be that the parents are very young, that one or both parents has problems with drugs or alcohol; is incarcerated; is in the military; or because of work obligations, travel extensively.
In the old days, the parties who have been asked to care for others’ children had to go through the lengthy and sometimes costly process of filing for guardianship. The guardianship petition suggests that the parents are unfit. This may not always be the case. The parents may be fit, but unavailable in any of the ways listed above.
Today, there is an alternate form known as a “caregiver affidavit” that not only does not require court involvement, but only asks for signatures from the biological parent(s) and the proposed caregiver(s). This caregiver affidavit authorizes caregivers to enroll children in school and to obtain medical care for a period of up to two years.
The caregiver affidavits can be re written after two years or serve as interim procedures to allow substitute caregivers enough opportunity to go through the guardianship process, if it becomes necessary.
The use of caregiver affidavits has greatly simplified the process for grandparents to raise their grandchildren in cases where such custodial arrangements are needed.