When the children are grown and begin their adult lives, many New Jersey residents look forward to becoming grandparents. Having grandchildren can be a rewarding experience, and families look forward to watching the next generation learn and grow. Unfortunately, the nationwide opioid crisis is leaving some grandparents in a legal predicament. When a parent is struggling with addiction, grandparents may be forced to make a decision regarding child custody.
Often, when a parent is struggling with drug addiction, their home is not a safe place for children. Many parents are stuck in a constant cycle of dangerous drug use, and some even lose their lives as a result. This leaves their children with nowhere to go, and many New Jersey services, such as foster care, are overwhelmed with the number of children in need of a safe home.
In many cases, grandparents are stepping up to take legal custody of their grandchildren. Though it may be a painful decision, many children thrive in the care of the family members that they know and love. The loss of a parent can be devastating to a child, and many grandparents feel they must do their part to make sure a child has an opportunity to overcome such a trauma.
If a New Jersey grandparent wishes to learn more about establishing, modifying or enforcing a child custody order, an experienced family law attorney can help. An attorney may be able to help a grandparent explain to a court why a custody order is needed to protect a child. He or she may also be able to introduce a grandparent or other family member to any support options available to help a family through the change for the sake of a child's well-being.