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Nonparent custody program scheduled for tonight in Pa.

October 18, 2005

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Franklin County Bar Association will offer a free program on custody rights for nonparents tonight at the Greene Township Municipal Building on Garver Lane.

"The Rights of Grandparents and Others for Custody and Support" will be presented at 7 p.m. The 90-minute program will focus on issues faced by grandparents and others who have responsibility for minor children but are not the children's parents.

The 2000 U.S. Census found more than 800 county residents fit the classification of "grandparent as caregiver" - a grandparent with responsibility for one or more grandchildren younger than 18 in his or her household. Nationwide, more than 2.4 million grandparents serve as the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

"Attorneys here in Franklin County and around the country are dealing with situations involving custody by grandparents and other nonparents - aunts and uncles or other extended family - much more frequently today than even a few years ago," noted Carrie Bowmaster, chair of the bar association's Law and You Committee, which is sponsoring the seminar.

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Because they are not a child's parents, grandparents and others can encounter difficulties with laws and regulations controlling custody, financial support and more, Bowmaster said.

Attorneys Janice Hawbaker, Stephen Kulla and Teri Stiltner are the panelists for the program. While they will not be able to answer questions about specific cases, they will provide information on a range of topics, Bowmaster said.

The Greene Township building is handicapped-accessible, and parking is available.

The program is free, but registration is requested. To sign up, call the Bar Association at 717-267-2032 or send e-mail to info@franklinbar.org.

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