Do Grandparents Have Custody or Visitation Rights in North Carolina?

As a grandparent, you may wonder whether you have any legal rights to custody or visitation with your grandchildren in North Carolina.

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is usually no.

The general rule in North Carolina is that grandparents do not have an automatic right to custody or visitation with their grandchildren. For a grandparent to be granted custodial or visitation rights by a judge against the wishes of the biological parents or legal guardians, both parents must be found unfit.

This is a high bar to clear, and it does not frequently happen in North Carolina.

In this blog post, we will discuss the details of the laws governing grandparent custody and visitation in North Carolina, including any exceptions that may exist.

Exceptions to the Rule

While the general rule is that grandparents do not have child custody or visitation rights, there are some exceptions to this rule. At Apple Payne Law, we are willing to fight for grandparents’ rights when those exceptions apply. Here are some exceptions to the rule.

Existing Relationship With the Child

If a grandparent has an existing relationship with a child, they may be able to ask for custody or visitation. However, this does not guarantee that a judge will grant the request. The judge will consider many factors, including the best interests of the child, before making a decision.

Lawsuit Between Parents

If the parents of a child are in the process of suing each other, a grandparent may be able to ask for custody or visitation. This is because the grandparents’ interests may be affected by the lawsuit, and the court may need to consider the grandparents’ rights.

How Apple Payne Law Can Help

If you are a grandparent who cannot see your grandchildren, contact our team at Apple Payne Law. While the answer may be no, there is nothing we can do to force visitation on your behalf, we will take a very close look at your situation and see if there’s a way that we can help.

Oftentimes, we can negotiate a satisfactory visitation schedule with the biological parents if we can address their concerns. We understand that family dynamics can be complicated, and we will work with you to find a solution that works for everyone involved. We will meet with you in person or via Zoom, whichever works best for you, and we can discuss your situation.

Author Bio

Ronald D. Payne II
Ronald D. Payne II is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Apple Payne Law, a North Carolina law firm he founded in 2018. With more than 11 years of experience practicing law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including business law, estate planning, family law, probate, and traffic law.

Ronald received his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded the 2020 Client’s Choice Award by Avvo and multiple Rising Star awards from Super Lawyers.

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