Custody battles can break apart many families. To mitigate this, many states recognize the importance of maintaining strong familial ties and provide a framework for addressing grandparent visitation rights when conflicts arise.
Visitation rights ensure grandparents maintain meaningful connections to their grandchildren.
Grandparents play a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives. However, parents may sometimes restrict their access to the grandkids. To protect this relationship, North Carolina includes grandparent rights in its general statutes. Note that the law does not grant visitation rights to biological grandparents in most adoption scenarios.
Criteria for visitation
Grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights in specific circumstances. If the parents separate or divorce, or if one parent has passed away, a grandparent can seek visitation. Additionally, the court may consider visitation rights if the child has lived with the grandparent for a long time or if there is a custody dispute.
The “best interests” standard
State courts prioritize the child’s best interests when deciding on grandparent visitation. This standard aims to safeguard children’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being. Considerations include a child’s relationship with the grandparents and his or her preferences.
Navigating the process
Establishing visitation rights requires providing evidence to support the request. It is important to show involvement in the child’s life and a positive effect on the child. Willingness to help the child have a good relationship with his or her parents is also key.
Break-ups are challenging for most families. While separations and divorces can be divisive, there is an established path to securing visitation rights for grandparents in North Carolina.