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Grandparents' Rights

Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys in North Carolina & South Carolina

As of 2022, approximately 2.55 million children live in the same home as their grandmothers and/or grandfathers. Courts have come to recognize that grandparents play an important part in raising healthy, well-adjusted children. 

As a grandparent, you need to be able to obtain rights to visitation, custody, and/or adoption of your grandchild if your grandson or granddaughter is ever in a compromising situation under the care of his or her parents.

Continue reading to learn more, or contact us today at (704) 289-3250 to set up a consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys.

Passionately Fighting for Grandparents’ Rights

At Collins Family & Elder Law Group, we understand that child custody disputes are difficult for everyone in the family. While the main focus of a custody action is the parents and their children, many other people are affected—including the grandparents. 

We know that, as a grandparent, your primary concern is the well-being of your grandchild, and you will fight for the opportunity to give as much love, care, and support as possible.

Our attorneys in NC and SC will tirelessly advocate for your rights to see your grandchildren if the circumstances of the case allow you to take legal action. 

Grandparent Visitation & Custody Rights in North & South Carolina

As a grandparent, you may have grounds to fight for more rights regarding your grandchild. We take grandparents’ rights in NC and SC seriously.

We can fight on your behalf to help secure the following and more:

  • General grandchild visitation rights
  • Vacation and travel rights
  • Scheduled contact rights, such as phone calls and emails
  • Regular updates on your grandchild’s well-being and home life, ensuring the child’s residence is not abusive or neglectful

In North Carolina and South Carolina, there are several statutes in place to help grandparents obtain visitation and custody rights to their grandchildren. These statutes merely help you ask for these rights; they don’t necessarily ensure that they’ll be granted to you. 

Ask our attorneys to help you determine which statute will most benefit you and the best way to proceed for your circumstances.

Obtaining Custody Rights

All parents have constitutional rights to raise their children. It is well within a parent’s rights to say who their children can spend time with, so if you are a grandparent seeking physical or legal custody of your grandchild, you must establish a reason to bring your case to a lawsuit.

Before you do this, however, you need to prove that the child’s parents are unfit to raise their child. Be aware that it isn’t easy to override a parent’s constitutionally given right to custody, so if you have reason to believe that your grandchild is in unfit hands, speak with one of our attorneys in NC or SC as soon as possible to find out if you have a case.

Path to Visitation: Grandparents' Legal Strategies

As a grandparent in North or South Carolina, you have the right to petition the court for visitation rights if a divorce, separation, or death has interfered with your grandchild’s family life to the point that his or her parents no longer live together. Sometimes, separation and divorce proceedings will enumerate the visitation rights of the grandparents. 

If your grandchild’s stepparent has adopted him or her, you can still get court-ordered visitation if you can show that you already have a significant relationship established with your grandchild. The states have not defined what this means in legal terms, but the courts almost always grant visitation rights to grandparents who have had a significant role in raising the child, or who have been actively involved with the child through regular visits. 

The approach you take to obtaining visitation rights depends on whether the child and parents have a custody order already in place. If a custody order does exist, all you need to do is file a motion to intervene and request visitation rights to your grandchild. 

In most cases, the court will enter an order for child custody and provide you with visitation rights, so long as the visits are considered to be within the child’s best interests. Our legal team can give you the best chance of success in this process.

Ready to discuss your rights? Call us at (704) 289-3250 for a personalized consultation.

What to Do If Your Grandchild Is in Danger in a Custodial Parent’s Care

Custody cases can take months to sort through. If your grandchild’s safety is compromised while in the care of their custodial parent, you don’t have months to waste. If you are worried about your grandchild’s safety, make sure to contact law enforcement and/or Child Protective Services (CPS) in your grandchild’s area. If you’re fighting for custody, be sure to gather official paperwork that documents the abuses. This information will help your case in a custody battle.

Grandparents’ Rights FAQ

Contact Our Divorce Lawyers in North Carolina & South Carolina

Watching your grandchild become the subject of a custody dispute is not easy, but our grandparents’ law attorneys in NC and SC can make the process less daunting. 

With our legal team at Collins Family & Elder Law Group to provide you with comprehensive and personalized legal counsel, you’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel during even the worst of scenarios. We are dedicated, compassionate, and experienced, and we have one goal in mind: to provide you with the tireless legal advocacy you deserve.

Contact us online or by phone at (704) 289-3250 today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys in North or South Carolina. 

  • How can a family law attorney assist grandparents who are seeking rights in North or South Carolina?

    Our family law attorneys can help you understand your rights as a grandparent under North or South Carolina law. These are complex, emotionally fraught cases; our team understands the sensitive nature of these matters and provides compassionate, personalized legal counsel and guidance throughout the entire process. We are here to not only answer your questions and explain your legal rights but also to exercise those rights when necessary. We can assist you in requesting visitation or custody rights for a grandchild or multiple grandchildren. We can also help you request modifications to an existing court order and navigate other unique legal challenges.

  • How can a family’s history of domestic violence impact grandparents’ rights cases?

    Sadly, domestic violence often plays a role in grandparents’ rights cases. When a child is the victim of domestic violence or neglect by one or both parents, the court may award custody rights to a grandparent. Similarly, the court can rescind custody rights if it finds that a grandparent has engaged in domestic violence against a grandchild or another household member.

  • Can a grandparent’s visitation or custody rights be terminated in the future?

    Yes, the court may terminate a grandparent’s visitation and/or custody rights even after initially granting them. This may happen at the request of the child’s biological or adoptive parent or guardian or due to other factors.

  • Can a parent’s objection to grandparents’ rights be overcome in court?

    In some cases, yes, it is possible to overcome a parent’s objections to a grandparent’s visitation rights. However, this is relatively rare. In all cases, the court will rule in favor of the best interests of the child. This often means in favor of the parent’s wishes, as parents are granted an automatic right to raise their children as they see fit.

    However, the court may overrule a parent’s objections to grandparents’ rights if the grandparent can prove that they have a long-standing, pre-existing relationship with the grandchild that is beneficial to the grandchild’s best interests and the child’s parent (or parents) is refusing to allow this bond to continue. We strongly recommend that you consult an experienced grandparents’ rights attorney for help with your case, especially if the child’s parents object to your visitation rights.

  • Are there any requirements for a pre-existing relationship between grandparents and grandchildren in North or South Carolina?

    Generally speaking, to seek visitation rights in North or South Carolina, you must not only establish that the child’s family is no longer “intact” but also that you have a pre-existing relationship with your grandchild. This is true when a stepparent or adoptive parent adopts your grandchild and interferes with your relationship with your grandchild. Typically, you will need to present clear evidence of a long-standing, pre-existing relationship with your grandchild. You’ll also need to prove that a continued relationship with your grandchild will be in your grandchild’s best interests.

Contact Us Today

Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (704) 289-3250

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