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Grandparents, the opioid crisis and child custody

With the ongoing opioid crisis in Georgia and across the country, a new family structure is becoming more and more widespread. With addiction continuing to run rampant, grandparents are finding themselves taking custody of their grandchildren. These child custody decisions are frequently made very quickly in the wake of an overdose or other incident in the parent's life. Grandparents who thought their child-rearing days were in the past find themselves in the role of primary caregiver.

Being thrust into the role of primary caregiver can bring with it unexpected expenses and situations the grandparents may not be sure how to deal with. There is a bipartisan bill in Congress to establish a task force to help with this situation. The bill is headed for the White House and is expected to be signed.

The task force could assist grandparents in caregiver roles with finding services, information and resources that may be available to help them. The bill would also give grandparents help in maintaining their own health. The physical demands of raising small children can place a toll on an older person. However, it is understandable that, if possible, the best place for a child is with immediate or extended family.

Sadly, the opioid crisis does not appear to be abating in Georgia. If a family finds themselves thrust into the role of primary caregiver for grandchildren or other family members, there may be resources available to help.  There may also be questions around the question of legal child custody in this situation. Taking custody of a grandchild may be overwhelming to someone who thought he or she was done raising children. A conversation with an experienced family law attorney may be able to assist in understanding and identifying what options are available.

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