Being a parent is not easy, but having to co-parent with an ex might be even more difficult. As more child custody agreements shift toward a focus on shared custody, divorced California parents must figure out how to successfully work together for the benefit of their children. Although this sounds good in theory, it can be a bit harder in real life.
Women who test positive for drugs while pregnant run the risk of their child being born addicted as well. Studies show that mothers who abuse drugs while pregnant and whose newborns test positive may have them removed from their care and taken into child custody. In California, experts claim that removing children from their mothers at any age can be traumatic and cause a lifetime of problems.
Recovery for women from opioid addiction is a constant uphill battle. Days are consumed with efforts to maintain sobriety and keep benefits intact while managing court appearances about daily treatment and guardianship of their children. Many women in California and other states often delay treatment fearing they will have their child custody rights suspended because of opioid abuse.
The struggle that most dads face today is the limited amount of time they get to spend with their kids. Studies show that even with no criminal convictions and no extenuating circumstances, dads receive only 35 percent of child custody time post-divorce. In California and other states, fathers say that parenting is extremely important to them, and they are eager to take a more active role.
More children are spending part of their childhood living with grandma and grandpa than ever before. In California and other states, the number of child custody cases involving grandparents has doubled since 1970, with a 7 percent increase since 2013. A study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 3 percent of kids live away from their parents nationwide, and two-thirds of them are being raised by grandparents.
When an abusive relationship ends, there are many decisions to make regarding the welfare of any children involved. Some family courts believe both parents should retain child custody and may not consider the history of abuse. In California and other states, the American Judges Association states it is not uncommon for batterers to challenge requests by victims for sole custody.
Grandparents continue to be thrust into the role of a caregiver during the continuing opioid epidemic. Many of them assume custody with no involvement from outside agencies, so they are unaware that there may be programs and resources to help with the expenses of raising a child. In California and other states, child custody is often passed down to grandparents when parents cannot care for them because of drug addiction.
A small child remains in the custody of a family member after she tested positive for marijuana and alcohol at birth. Welfare workers went to work researching the parents' past and backgrounds to determine if they could care for the child. In California and other states, child custody rights may be suspended if parents abuse drugs and alcohol.
Children with parents who are battling an opioid addiction often find themselves in situations of neglect or abuse. State welfare workers and family court officials must determine whether to sever the parent's child custody rights. In California and other states, children are often the victims of the ongoing opioid epidemic.
The end of a marriage takes its toll on everyone involved. Some stay married for the sake of their children, hanging onto the idea of a perfect family. Other couples often try to maintain a sense of normalcy for their children after a long, drawn-out divorce and child custody battle. In California and other states, couples are trying different ways to parent their children together.