Blog

Can Grandparents File for Custody?

By Sherrie C. Smith June 11, 2019

Family Law

Grandchild Hugging Grandfather

Grandparent Custody

Are you seeking custody of your grandchild or grandchildren? While you probably never contemplated being the primary caregiver for your grandchild, circumstances have changed, and you are facing this decision. Perhaps the unthinkable happened, and your own child has turned to alcohol or drugs, or your grandchild is being physically abused. Whatever the situation, your grandchild needs to be in your care.

How Can I Get Custody of my Grandchild?

The very first thing you should do is meet with one of our family law attorneys at Helms Robison Lee & Bennett, PA. Once you have explained the situation to us, we will go over your options and the legal ramifications of each option.

Reasons Grandparents Can File for Custody of a Grandchild

The North Carolina custody statutes allow third parties, including grandparents, to seek custody under special circumstances. North Carolina follows a presumption that the biological parent(s) have constitutionally protected custody rights. The only way to succeed in getting custody of your grandchild is to show that the biological parent(s) have acted in a manner inconsistent with his or her constitutionally protected custody rights. The following are a few examples of how a parent may act in a manner inconsistent with his or her constitutionally protected custody rights:

  • Using illegal drugs;
  • Drinking alcohol in excess around the child on a regular basis;
  • Physical abuse;
  • Mental or emotional abuse;
  • Abandonment;
  • Neglect

Best Interest of the Child

Once you prove that the biological or adoptive parent has acted in a manner inconsistent with his or her constitutionally protected custody rights, then you must prove that it is in the child’s best interest to be in the grandparent’s custody.
In grandparent custody cases, you often have to file a motion for emergency custody of your grandchild in order to quickly and safely remove the child from a dangerous situation. The family law attorneys at Helms Robison Lee & Bennett, PA can help you through this process. Call our office immediately at (704) 289-4577, for a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys.

Back to all blog posts