Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in North Carolina?
North Carolina is one state that affords to grandparent rights to have visitation with their grandchildren, though in limited and specific instances.
This article is not intended to cover every situation, but it is intended to provide just a general overview of when grandparents can seek visitation with their grandchildren, even with both parents are fit and proper to be raising the children. Next week, we’ll talk about instances where grandparents might be able to get custody of their grandchildren when the parents are not fit parents. As a little background, the grandparents’ right to have court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren is limited, as it does interfere with the parents’ constitutionally protected rights to determine who their children associate with.
Grandparents can seek to have court-ordered visitation with specific grandchildren when:
The children’s family is not intact
Generally, an non-intact family is when the parents are not together. If one parent is deceased, and the children reside with the remaining parent, this is considered an intact family.
The grandparents have a substantial relationship with the grandchildren
This typically means that the children have spent substantial time with the grandparents, spent the night with the grandparents, participating in social outings, gone on vacation together, etc.
When there is an ongoing custody dispute in the courts between the children’s parents
This means that the parents must have a pending child custody action in court, and a final child custody order has not yet been entered by the court. If the parents do not having a child custody matter pending in the courts or if a final child custody order has already been entered, then the grandparents cannot ask for grandparent visitation with their grandchildren.
If you are looking to protect your right to visitation with your grandchildren, remember to take steps early. If you not sure what you should do or how the law applies in your case, please call the child custody attorneys at Schmitz Law, PC. 336-714-2380 or complete our online contact form.
This article is not intended to give, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. No action should be taken in reliance upon the information contained in this article without obtaining the advice of an attorney.