Family Law and Grandparent Rights

While family law can make it difficult for people to lose their parental rights, the rights of grandparents with regard to visitation or custody can be limited. Grandparents might find that one or both of the parents limit their involvement by preventing visitation. All states offer some provisions for grandparents to seek visitation or custody, but the conditions can be quite stringent. Because the laws are varied based on the state with jurisdiction over a child, a North Carolina resident needs to research the specifics of the state in question.

Visitation cases tend to be permitted only if certain conditions are in place. One of the most important matters is the previous relationship between grandparent and grandchild. Issues such as a child having lived with the grandparent in question for a period of time could affect a judge’s decision. A child’s best interests are central to any decisions to be made. A grandparent seeking visitation rights might also have positive results in the case of their own child, the parent of the grandchild in question, having died.

Child custody statutes can be more vague than those related to visitation for grandparents. Some states provide for grandparent custody in the event of both parents perishing. If either of a grandchild’s parents is living, a grandparent could be required to demonstrate that one or both parties are unfit parents. Without the consent of a child’s parents, this could be extremely difficult.

Because of state-by-state differences in family law related to grandchildren and visitation or custodial rights, a grandparent living in a different state than their grandchild might need the assistance of a family law attorney in seeking their rights. In a case involving the death of both of a child’s parents, for example, a grandparent might first need to obtain guardianship rights in the state with jurisdiction before moving the child to their own state of residence.

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