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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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More grandparents raising children due to opioid epidemic

At present, the scourge of opioid addiction is taking a terrible toll on many of our fellow citizens. A recent estimate placed the number of people addicted to opioids at 2.4 million. Serious drug addiction was once primarily considered a problem among those in economically depressed areas. But opioid addiction, that often results from prescription painkiller use, has become a serious problem across the economic spectrum.

But it is not only those who are in the throes of addiction who are in danger and suffer; so too are the children of addicts. When addiction overtakes the lives of a child's parents, it is often left to the grandparents to take command of the situation when the child is being neglected or has been abandoned. And according to the director of a children services association, grandparents are frequently the first and best option to care for a child.

So what should you do if you are worried about your grandchild's well-being because his or her parents have a drug problem? Well, one of the first decisions you must make is whether you are prepared to file a petition with the court requesting that you be granted custody of the child. Taking your child to court may be a hard thing to do, but it also may be the only way to ensure your grandchild's safety.

If you choose to pursue legal action to secure custody of your grandchild, you may wish to enlist the aid of an experienced family law attorney. There are forms to fill out and deadlines to meet when filing for custody and an attorney can help make sure that you follow the procedure correctly so as to expedite the process and get your grandchild into your care.

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