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Census numbers show grandparents with parental responsibility

Florida residents may be interested in some statistics about the prevalence of grandparents with parental responsibility in the state. Government statistics reveal some interesting facts regarding demographics, as well.

In the state of Florida, 2010 census data revealed that grandparents or other relatives were the head of household for 12 percent of children under the age of 18. In all, this included 476,474 minor children, of which just over 350,000 were with their grandparents. Of these, grandparents had parental responsibility for 161,689 children, with nearly 60,000 of these children living solely with their grandparents. The total number of Florida grandparents responsible for their grandchildren was approximately 150,000. In Jacksonville, this amounted to just over 7,500 grandparents. Miami had just over 3,000 grandparents with parental responsibility, according to the census.

The demographic breakdown of grandparents heading up households with children was also made clear by the data. Nearly half of the grandparents were non-Hispanic whites, while just over 30 percent were black. Hispanic and Latino grandparents made up 19 percent of the total, with Asian grandparents at just 2 percent. The number of these grandparents living in poverty was just under one-fifth of the total. Nearly two-thirds of the grandparents are under the age of 60.

The 2010 census data showed that in 38 percent of the grandparents' households, the child's parents were not present. When it is in the best interests of the child for the grandparents to take custody away from a child's parent, court approval will be required. The right of grandparents to legal custody and visitation is an ever-changing area of family law, and an attorney can be of assistance in this regard.

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