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Grandparents may face custody, visitation issues too

As a grandparent, you likely want to spend as much time with your grandchild or grandchildren as possible. Unfortunately, many individuals may face difficulties when it comes to their ability to visit their grandchildren, and you may find yourself among that group. However, as a grandparent, you may have rights that you could enforce to gain visitation or custody.

Obtaining custody

When it comes to granting custody to a grandparent, several factors go into consideration. Most commonly, if one or both parents are still living, the likelihood of granting custody of a child to a grandparent is slim. Courts often would rather that children remain with their parents.

Of course, if you have sound reasoning to believe that the child faces dangers while in the custody of his or her parents or that the parents are unfit, you may wish to present your case. The presentation of proof of such claims could potentially allow a court to view the situation in your favor.

Visitation rights

The parents of your grandchild may have denied you the ability to see the child. In such cases, you may wish to gain visitation access rather than custody. For visitation rights, multiple aspects also go into consideration, such as the marital status of the parents and whether a grandchild lived with you at any time. Of course, state law can also play a considerable role in what aspects you must meet before a petition for visitation goes under consideration.

In addition to meeting the requirements, you will also need to prove that the granting of visitation would benefit the child. Whether you have had a pre-established relationship with your grandchild and whether your visitation will negatively affect the parent-child relationship will likely play roles in the outcome as well.

Effects of adoption

Adoption cases can also have substantial effects on your visitation rights as a grandparent. In North Carolina, if a stepparent or other relative has adopted the child, you still retain your rights to see the child. If another family adopts the child, the case becomes much more complicated -- as is typical for many child custody-related cases -- and the possibility exists that visitation rights end when an outside family adopts the child.

Because attempting to gain custody or visitation of grandchildren can prove immensely complex, you may wish to find out more on state laws, requirements and other information related to your situation. Speaking with an experienced attorney may allow you to gain such knowledge as well as a beneficial advocate.

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