Grandparents’ Visitation and Custody Rights

Grandparents have only limited rights to visitation or custody in North Carolina. Generally, grandparent’s time with their grandchildren is derivative of the time the children spend with their parents – in other words, the grandparents visit with their grandchildren only during the time the grandparents are visiting with their grandchildren’s parents.

In regard to custody, grandparents are viewed as third parties and have no special standing. Therefore, in order to gain custody, the grandparents have to prove the parents are either unfit or have acted contrary to their legally protected rights as parents.