Exploring Visitation and Custody Rights for Grandparents in North Carolina

Grandparents have a special bond with their grandchildren, and in North Carolina, the law understands and values this relationship. If you are a grandparent seeking to secure custody or visitation rights, rest assured that you have options and can advocate for your rights.

With the right legal support and guidance, you can advocate for your rights as you seek visitation or custody of your grandchildren. Keep reading to learn more in this post.

Best Interest of the Grandchild

When it comes to visitation or child custody involving grandparents, the court's primary concern is the best interest of the grandchild. This standard is the foundation for all of the court's judgments regarding child custody. Additionally, it's essential for the grandparent to have a parent-like relationship with the grandchild.

A parent-like relationship may include:

  • How much time the grandparent spends with the grandchild
  • How the grandparent provides for the grandchild
  • How involved the grandparent is with the child’s education and extracurricular activities

If the grandparent can demonstrate that they have a bond with the grandchild that is similar to that of a parent, they may have a better chance of being awarded custody or visitation rights. Ultimately, the court's focus is on what is most beneficial for the child and their well-being.

Grandparent Custody Rights in North Carolina

North Carolina law N.C.G.S. § 13.5(j) acknowledges that grandparents can be awarded custody of their grandchildren in certain situations, particularly when the parents are unable to care for the child.

In situations where grandparents are granted custody of their grandchild, it's often due to the fact that the parents are not providing adequate care for their child or are considered unsuitable guardians.

Factors that deem a parent unfit can include:

  • Mental instability
  • inability to provide financially for the child
  • Drug abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment

While it can be a difficult and emotional decision for all involved, the priority is always the well-being and safety of the child.

Grandparent Visitation Rights in North Carolina

When parents separate and legal action is taken for child custody, grandparents may have the opportunity to seek visitation privileges with their grandchild through N.C.G.S. § 50-13.2(b1).

If a judge determines that the grandparent has a substantial relationship with the child and that visitation is in the best interest of the child, the judge may include visitation privileges in the custody order. It is important for grandparents to petition the court to intervene before a custody order is established.

Contact Our Firm

Nurturing the bond between grandparents and grandchildren can have a significant impact on a child's development. If you are considering seeking custody or visitation rights, it is crucial to work with experienced child custody attorneys who can help you navigate the legal system.

At Fresh Start Family Law, our team has extensive experience in family law matters and can provide the guidance and representation you need to help protect your rights and pursue your goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prioritize your family's well-being.

Call us at (919) 849-5744 or reach out to us online and fill out our form. Remember, you don’t have to go through this situation without help. Our attorneys have 30 years of combined experience and can provide you with seasoned legal advice and guidance.