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Drug epidemic propels grandparents forward as primary caregivers

New Jersey grandparents do not automatically command visitation rights concerning their grandchildren. That determination is customarily under the control of parents. Moms and dads are granted wide decision-making powers under relevant state laws.

Grandparents sometimes make a legal push for closer involvement in the lives of their grandkids, though. When they do, a court will have ample discretion over a number of statutory factors in considering their petition.

The law can get complex on that score. That reality renders it advisable for grandparents wanting more time with young loved ones to seek help from a proven legal team. Notably, that means attorneys who routinely represent diverse clients across a full spectrum of child-linked matters.

New Jersey judges who scrutinize family law issues involving kids are guided by the children’s well-being. A core inquiry in every case is this: What outcome will best promote their interests?

As a recent article on a serious national problem notes, that question is being increasingly posed these days in cases where parental fitness is being questioned. Emerging evidence flatly indicates that an unprecedented number of families are experiencing extreme dislocation because of opioid addiction that has ensnared one or both parents. Kids are understandably left in the lurch by that dilemma.

And grandparents are stepping up in large numbers to fill the child-rearing void as primary caregivers.

That can sometimes be quite fluid and informal. It can also be marked by contention and legal challenges in other instances. More grandparents are seeking formal control over their grandkids based on the alleged inability of their own adult children to provide adequate care because of drug dependency.

That can be a sticky and complex matter when coming before a court, owing to the “best interests” standard. A family law attorney with a well of experience in visitation/custody matters can provide further information and, when necessary, diligent legal representation in a case where family rights are concerned.