Heymann & Fletcher

Drug epidemic leaves many grandparents with child custody dilemma

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. 

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