Elder, Estate Planning & Probate Law: Advising Clients on Guardianships of Minors in Light of Opiate Epidemic

The number of cases filed in pursuit of guardianship over minors in the Probate and Family divisions of the NH Circuit Court increased by 23 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to state court records. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reports that the number of people in New Hampshire who died of drug overdoses, mostly from opioids, was two and a half times greater in 2015 than in 2011. Additionally, a recent study by the Carsey School of Public Policy found that the majority of deaths for white males in New Hampshire aged 25 to 34, a population of potential fathers, resulted from drugs, alcohol, or suicide between 2010 and 2014.

Although the need for supplementation or substitution of parental rights arises in other circumstances, the impact of substance abuse on parenting cannot be ignored.

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