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What is spurring uptick in grandparents as primary caregivers?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2019 | Child Custody, Firm News

We note the obvious point on the child custody page of our family law website at Robertson, Oswalt, Nony & Associates that, “Parents want the best for their children.”

In some unfortunate cases, though, that truism doesn’t exactly ring true. In fact, some parents suffering from personal challenges and extreme family dislocation no longer appreciate what is best for their kids. They are even unable to see when their children’s well-being is being undermined by certain factors.

Like drug addiction, for example. That is a flat-out growing challenge for increasing numbers of families across the country who are succumbing to the downsides of opioid medications.

Arkansas has an especially noted problem in that regard. The United States Census Bureau recently released data showing that opioid addiction rates are at a troublesome level in the state. Families affected by opioid use predictably suffer some serious downsides.

One of those relates centrally to children. A national article discussing the nation’s present challenges posed by addictive pain-killing drugs stresses “opioids’ reverberating effects on families affected by the public health crisis.”

What that article chiefly stresses is a growing trend in Arkansas and some other states of grandparents becoming primary caregivers of their children’s kids. In other words, grandpa and grandma are either moving in with their grandchildren, or the kids are moving in with them to create distance from parents with destructive drug habits.

The family law realm is obviously affected by that. Although grandparents don’t have any automatic custody rights to their grandkids in Arkansas, they can seek custody in some limited circumstances, with courts having wide discretion over the matter. Arguably, drug addiction easily qualifies as a key factor in any judicial assessment of parental fitness.

Experienced Little Rock family law attorneys can respond to any questions or concerns regarding custody concerns in Arkansas.


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