Grandparents can play a loving role in the dynamics of a family. However, when a parent refuses to grant them access to their grandchildren, it can lead to heartbreak and many legal questions. These cases involve a delicate balance between a parents’ rights and the child’s best interests. While it may seem like a challenging situation to overcome, grandparents do have options in the state. Here is what you need to know about grandparents’ visitation rights in North Carolina.
Parents’ vs. Grandparents’ Rights
The rights of parents are often at the forefront of these cases. The foundational principle in North Carolina’s family law is that parents will act in the child’s best interests. If they are competent and believe the grandparents should not have a relationship with the children, it can be hard for them to make a compelling case to the court.
What Are the Next Steps?
If the grandparents have a history of a long-standing relationship and have been involved in the child’s upbringing, then they have a standing to sue for visitation. In North Carolina, grandparents don’t have an automatic right to visitation. They must file a petition in the family court to seek court-ordered visitation. This formal process will start the visitation case.
Many times, the case will proceed to a mediation stage. A third party will try to reach a reasonable resolution during this time. However, these hearings are not always successful.
In these situations, the case proceeds to court, where the judge reviews the evidence and makes a decision regarding grandparents’ visitation rights.
The court may impose limitations, such as supervised visitation or restrictions on the frequency and duration of visits. All these conditions can help to protect the child’s well-being while preserving their familial connections.
If you are in this situation, you will want to consult with a family law attorney. The laws can be complicated, and you want to make sure you take the appropriate steps in your case.
How to Build a Case in Your Favor
In these cases, you will need plenty of evidence to establish a relationship with the grandchildren. You may want to include photographs, letters, cards, emails, or any other proof of a meaningful connection.
Also, you need to show that you have been positively involved in the child’s life. Often, this could show proof that you attended school events, extracurricular activities, or family gatherings.
Along with that, you may need to show you provided emotional support throughout the child’s life. Outlining the emotional bonds of the grandparent and child can help in these cases. As a grandparent, you want to prove you have a unique and irreplaceable role in the child’s life.
Finally, every case will center on the best interests of the child. All this evidence will demonstrate that the child will receive emotional, developmental, and physiological benefits from maintaining a relationship with you.
Learn More About Grandparents’ Visitation Rights in North Carolina
Remember that each case is unique. As a grandparent, you want to show proof that you are an irreplaceable part of the child’s life. These cases can be challenging. Understanding the law in North Carolina can be a challenge, especially for those already dealing with the emotional burdens of denied visitation.
You will want to reach out to a skilled family law attorney in North Carolina. The Stephen E. Robertson Law Office is ready to help in these situations. Schedule a consultation by calling 336-370-6760.