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One state passes law to help grandparents gain child custody

When a Colorado family is faced with a crisis, grandparents are often a lifeline for their grandchildren. This is especially true in cases where one or both parents are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Having a loving grandparent who is willing to step in and provide a safe and loving home to a child can make a world of difference. Now, one state has passed legislation that gives grandparents preference in child custody matters where drugs play a role.

The law will go into effect in 2018 and will give grandparents an advantage in seeking custody of their grandchildren in cases where substance abuse poses a risk. Currently, many children in this situation are placed into foster care, even when there are family members willing to take the children in. The new law will give grandparents preferential status when a child needs to be cared for in a new setting after a parent has been deemed unable to provide adequate care.

Grandparents who gain custody of their grandchildren will also have an easier time maintaining that custody. The new law directs judges to consider what would be in the best interests of the child when making any future determinations on matters of custody. Grandparents who are providing care will also be informed of the resources that are available to assist them.

While these types of laws are not present in every state, more and more states are looking into ways to improve child custody outcomes for kids who are harmed by drug or alcohol abuse. For those in Colorado who are considering trying to gain custody of a child to whom they are related, it is essential to work with a family law attorney who can direct the process toward the best possible outcome. All kids deserve to be raised in a safe and loving home, and the ongoing drug epidemic in this nation has robbed many children of that opportunity.

Source: startribune.com, "New Hampshire law gives grandparents custody preference", Michael Casey, June 28, 2017

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Brandon Ceglian's practice focus is family law, landlord-tenant law / real estate, civil litigation, criminal / DUI, and collections. View Attorney Profile

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