Statistics show the number of children entering foster care across the country had been on the decline for almost a decade, but recent statistics from 2012 to 2016 show 36 states with a 10 percent increase. Georgia and other states credit the opioid epidemic with a parent's child custody rights being terminated. Substance abuse in a home with children is considered child abuse in many states.
Child custody proceedings during a divorce can be one of the most stressful times in a father's life. Only 40 percent of states give parents equal time with their children. A new report shows that several states across the country give dads less than 25 percent of equal time with their children. Georgia weighed in at number 46, with 23.5 percent. Results also showed that 20 states were tied for the number one spot, winning 50 percent of equal parenting time in child custody cases.
Across the nation, 2.6 million grandparents have assumed the role of parent and are raising their grandchildren. Studies show that older relatives are stepping up to the plate to become primary caregivers, and the number of "grandfamilies" has shown a steady increase of 7 percent in five years. Experts in Georgia and elsewhere say the reason many grandparents gain child custody is due to the opioid epidemic.
The opioid addiction is landing more women behind bars, with many cycling in and out of prison multiple times for violations related to drug addiction. All across the country, families are being torn apart, incarceration rates are skyrocketing and treatment centers are being forced to close because of lack of money. In Georgia and other states, child custody rights are severed because of substance abuse.
There are many misconceptions made by school authorities regarding noncustodial parents, but the most common is the assumption that parents communicate with each other. There are two types of child custody, physical and legal. A parent with physical custody has physical custody of the child the majority of the time. In Georgia and elsewhere, parents with legal custody have the authority to make decisions regarding a child's education. The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act typically allows both parents access to school records, while most states have their own laws regarding this issue as well.
While the current presidential administration is espousing a get-tough approach targeting drug dealers, doctors and pharmacists, critics say it is not helping those who are suffering from addiction. Recent surveys revealed that Americans believe more focus should be on treatment for the addict instead of prosecution. When parents are in and out of treatment facilities, their children are often left in limbo. In Georgia and other states, more substance abusing parents are having their child custody rights severed.
Grandparents have been gearing up for another round of child rearing as the opioid epidemic rages on across the country. At a time when many may be planning on winding down and preparing for retirement bliss, a large number of grandparents find themselves in the middle of child custody cases. In Georgia and in other states, studies show that children adjust better under the care of grandparents than in foster homes.
The every-other-weekend dad may be a thing of the past as lawmakers work to speed up a new trend toward co-parenting. Over 20 states are considering bills that would encourage shared parenting even when parents cannot agree. In Georgia and other states, new shared-parenting bills could be a game changer for child custody battles.
A child custody order will determine which parent will have physical and legal custody of the child. Generally both types of custody will be shared in some way unless one parent is deemed unfit to have custody of the child. Legal custody gives the parent the right to make decisions in the child's life. Joint legal custody requires parents to work together with these decisions, but one parent will have final decision-making rights regarding medical, religious and education decisions. Physical custody dictates which parent the child will live with. Commonly parents receive joint physical custody where they share equal time with the child.
When going through a divorce, child custody is one issue that will need to be negotiated and decided upon. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will make a decision regarding the custody of the child or children. In order to make sure that your wants and needs are fought for in court, obtain the help of an Atlanta divorce attorney. The main concern of the court is the best interests of the child and they make their decision accordingly. In order to come to the conclusion of the best interest of the child, the court will look into all of the following factors: