The right of a grandparent to have visitation with their grandchildren following a divorce has become a highly debated topic. Grandparents are increasingly becoming everyday caretakers to their grandchildren and, in many cases, living under the same roof as their grandchildren. According to the Census Bureau, a study they conducted in 2008 found that approximately 3.8 million multigenerational households exist in the United States.
Even though these living and care arrangements can be beneficial for grandparents, parents, and grandchildren, many grandparents find themselves all but forgotten about when child custody and visitation arrangements are determined by the court. For this reason grandparents in North Carolina should be aware of the rights the state provides for them.
North Carolina General Statute §50‑13.2. (b1) states, “An order for custody of a minor child may provide visitation rights for any grandparent of the child as the court, in its discretion, deems appropriate.” The Court will decide if grandparent visitation is appropriate by making a determination of what is in the “best interest” of the child. The best interest of a child is determined on a case by case basis. No two motions for visitation are ever the same, and the court may consider many different factors to determine what is in the child’s best interest. These factors for grandparent visitation may include, but are certainly not limited to, the length of the relationship between the child and grandparent, the relationship between the child’s parent and the grandparent requesting visitation, and, in some cases, if the child is old enough, the court may take the child’s preferences into account.
Timing is everything for a grandparent wishing to make a visitation request to the court. A grandparent wanting to ensure they receive visitation with their grandchild during divorce proceedings between the child’s parents, will to a certain extent, become part of a parents divorce proceedings. A grandparent will need to enter a petition with the court for visitation while there is pending litigation between the child’s parents.
If you are a grandparent wishing to make a visitation petition during a divorce proceeding, it is best to consult with your attorney who can adequately represent you during this process.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE WAS PREPARED BY SODOMA LAW AND IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND NOT, IN ANY WAY, CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE.