As a Greensboro family law attorney, I’ve heard many times, “I didn’t do anything because I thought grandparents have no rights in North Carolina.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Grandparents’ do have rights to see their grandchildren in certain situations. It is worth consulting with a family law attorney to determine your rights.
Grandparents’ rights to their grand children come in two forms: visitation and custody. Visitation is a lesser form of custody. North Carolina law permits grandparents to file a claim for visitation with their grandchildren when there has been a disruption of the children’s family unit. Practically speaking, this means when there is an ongoing dispute between the parents over the custody of their children, grandparents may intervene to ask for visitation. A judge will grant visitation to the grandparents if he or she determines that visitation is in the best interest of the children. Grandparents may also file a motion seeking visitation if there is an existing custody order and there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the order was entered.