Grandparent Visitation in North Carolina

4-1024x1024Grandparent Visitation in North Carolina

Grandparents play a special role in the lives of their grandchildren. Children have special memories of their grandparents that last a lifetime. The love and care of a grandparent cannot be replaced. Grandparents form unique bonds with their grandchildren that are essential to kids. While most grandparents are able to see their grandchildren on a regular basis, there are times when a grandparent may be denied visitation. Many people wonder whether grandparents have visitation rights in North Carolina.


Do Grandparents Have Rights?

While the role of grandparents is critical in a child’s life, there are no specific laws that provide for the grandparents to have automatic visitation with their grandchildren. In general, North Carolina reviews visitation on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the court does not specifically address grandparent visitation and relies instead on the child’s parents to include grandparents in their lives. The courts evaluate the needs of the child and will always do what is in the best interests of the child. When a grandparent wants the court to intervene, they must have a valid reason why visitation is necessary for the welfare of the child.


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Why Do Grandparents Need Intervention Through the Court?

There are times when the grandparents are not provided regular visitation with their grandchildren from the child’s parents. This can occur, for example, when the grandparents are estranged from the parents and, therefore, are not included in their grandchildren’s lives. A grandparent would need to prove to the court that they are a critical part of their grandchild’s life but are not being allowed visitation. The grandparent must show that without intervention from the court, they will not be able to maintain any type of relationship with their grandchildren.grandparents-rights-Charlotte-Mooresville-Monroe-Child-Custody-Lawyer


Can a Grandparent Request Visitation Through the Court?

Grandparents are usually at the mercy of the child’s parents when it comes to visitation. However, there are some circumstances that may require legal action. A grandparent may file a Motion to Intervene. The motion to intervene is a legal filing that allows a grandparent to become a third party in an ongoing custody matter. It is important to note that the filing must be made before the matter is resolved. A grandparent must provide the court with evidence of the strong loving relationship they have with the grandchild and establish that the relationship is important.


If the judge grants the request, the grandparent will become a party in the lawsuit that seeks visitation of the grandchild. It is advantageous for the grandparent seeking visitation to get guidance from an attorney to represent them in the matter. If allowed visitation, the court will determine the general rules that apply to the arrangement. It is important to note that in some instances, grandparents may want to seek custody, which is a different process.


If you are a grandparent who is not allowed to spend time with a grandchild, you may want to explore your legal options. There may be something you can do to ensure that you get to spend important time with your grandchildren. To learn more, contact our legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.




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