Located in Charlotte, North Carolina

Grandparent Visitation Rights in North Carolina

In many families, grandparents play a significant role in their grandchildren’s lives. Sometimes they may even share parental responsibilities with their grandkids’ parents. 

Unfortunately, if the grandchildren’s parents file for divorce, grandparents may not see their grandkids as often as they used to. However, grandparents have a legal right to request court-ordered visitation to have a lasting and loving relationship with their grandchildren. 

Requesting Grandparent Visitation in North Carolina 

In North Carolina, a grandparent may request visitation rights by intervening a pending child custody action, by showing there is a change in circumstances that would entitle him/her to visitation rights after custody was already determined, or by asking the court after the child is adopted by a stepparent or another relative. Before requesting court-ordered visitation, a grandparent must show that the child's family is no longer intact. 

Examples of a family no longer being intact include: 

  • A divorce or legal separation 

  • An adoption by a stepparent or another relative 

  • An active custody dispute between unmarried parents 

When a grandparent can show that an existing custody dispute or the family is no longer intact, he/she must then prove that grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interests. Common factors the court will consider include the relationship between the child and the grandparent, the contribution of the grandparent in raising the child, and how detrimental it is to the child’s well-being if he/she does not have frequent contact with his/her grandparents. 

If a stepparent or another relative adopts the child, a biological grandparent has the right to request visitation, so long as the grandparent can establish an existing relationship. If the adoptive parent has or attempts to interfere with the child-grandparent relationship, the grandparent can use the interference as evidence of having an established relationship with the grandchild. 

Requesting Grandparent Custody in North Carolina 

State courts automatically presume that it is in the child’s best interests if the child’s biological or legal parents have custody. Therefore, if a grandparent requests child custody of his/her grandchild, he/she must show the court that the parents have abandoned, abused, or neglected their child by failing to provide a safe home, contribute to the child’s upbringing, protect the child from harm, or provide child support. 

If you are interested in obtaining or modifying a child custody or visitation order in Charlotte, call Rech Law, P.C. at (704) 659-0007 or complete our online contact form today to request an initial consultation. Providing compassionate and personalized legal representation for various family law matters. 

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