There may be a time when a person other than the child’s parent will need to seek custody. For a successful outcome, two conditions must be present. First, both parents must be living in separate residences. Second, there must be an ongoing custody or visitation case occurring in the Courts. If either of the two events are met, under North Carolina law, a non-parent may request to be granted custody of a child or children.
Once a non-parent files for custody, they must prove to the Judge they have a substantial relationship with the child or children. The legal term for this is called standing. A non-parent who can prove standing may either be a relative who has a close relationship with the child or children or someone who has raised the child or children as their own. Successful proof of standing allows a non-parent to proceed with their claim for custody. Otherwise, the Judge will dismiss the case.
After a non-parent proves they have standing, one of following conditions must be shown to exist before legal custody is awarded. Either someone other than a parent has raised the child or children, both parents must be shown to be unfit. Unfit parents are those who are unable to provide proper care for the child or children, often due to issues such as substance abuse, habitual criminal behavior, inability to maintain steady employment, or lack of a suitable residence.
If you are a non-parent seeking custody, please contact The Law Office of Stephen Robertson. Our experienced & skilled attorneys can assist you through the process. At the Law Office of Stephen E. Robertson, we provide all the mentioned child custody, child support, adoption, family law services. We serve the following North Carolina counties: Guilford, Rockingham, Randolph, Forsyth, Davidson, Alamance, and surrounding communities.