Grandparents’ Rights To Custody And Visitation
Grandparents often take a substantial part in raising their grandchildren. Many step into the role of parent and act as the primary caretaker of their grandchildren. Unfortunately, when pursuing custody or visitation rights, grandparents face an uphill battle. The law does not formally grant custody or visitation rights to grandparents. Instead, grandparents can only pursue custody or visitation in specific circumstances.
At the Raleigh Divorce Law Firm, our lawyers represent grandparents throughout central North Carolina during child custody and visitation disputes. Our goal is to help you preserve the bond you have with your grandchildren.
When Can Grandparents Pursue Custody?
The law surrounding grandparents’ rights to custody and visitation is complex. It is important to consult with an experienced legal advocate who can explain your rights to you.
In general, grandparents have legal standing to petition the court for custody when the child’s biological parents act in a manner inconsistent with their constitutionally protected parental rights. This includes behaviors such as:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Child endangerment
- Child abandonment
- Parents are not mentally or financially able to care for the child
- Other behaviors that deem a parent to be unfit
We practice exclusively in family law and will tenaciously represent you in a case for grandparent custody rights.
Petitioning For Grandparent Visitation
Grandparents can petition the court for visitation while there is an ongoing custody case. The court will then determine if visitation with the grandparents is in the best interests of the children. Factors evaluated include:
- The existing relationship between grandparents and grandchildren
- The mental and physical health of the grandparents
- The impact grandparent visitation will have on the rights of the parents
- The wishes of the grandchildren
Our lawyers are experienced legal advocates. We understand the nuances of the law and know how to protect your rights. Whether through negotiation, mediation or litigation, we will work hard to get you the time you need to maintain strong ties with your grandchildren.