Do Grandparents Have Rights In Custody Disputes?
In legal disputes over child custody and visitation, people often overlook an important presence in the child’s life — the grandparents.
In North Carolina, grandparents have limited rights in terms of seeking custody and visitation. Grandparents may intervene directly in a custody action, but only while an open lawsuit between the parents is pending. If you are a grandparent seeking visitation rights, time is of the essence. If you wait until the custody action is resolved, you lose important rights.
Once the custody action is resolved, grandparents may seek custody rights but only in relatively rare circumstances. In order for a grandparent to gain custody of a child, the child must be in danger due to neglect or abuse by the parents, or the parents must voluntarily give up their rights.
Talk with an attorney at Ellis Family Law, PLLC, to gain valuable advice and representation regarding grandparents’ rights in North Carolina. We handle child custody and visitation matters for clients in Durham, Chatham, Orange, Wake, Granville, Alamance and Person counties.
Third-Party Custody Actions
In North Carolina, any third party, including aunts, uncles, siblings and family friends, may seek custody of a child. As with grandparent custody, the circumstances must be extreme. The parents must be unfit or have waived their constitutional parental rights.
Third-party child custody cases are very fact specific and courts do not terminate a parent’s rights without good cause. We cannot tell you how your custody case is likely to unfold without a thorough accounting of the factors at play.