Monthly Archives: November 2016

Grandparent visitation issues

 

In North Carolina and throughout the U.S., grandparents play an important part in the lives of their grandchildren. While relationships vary from family to family, in many cases, grandparents provide emotional assistance, child rearing help and even provide financial support.

Due to the complexities of modern family life, there are situations in which an existing connection between grandparent and grandchild might be disrupted or even severed. This is often due to divorce, particularly when the parent who has primary physical custody is estranged from the ex-spouse’s parents. Other situations in which contact between children and their grandparents might be disrupted include the death of a child’s parent or the adoption of the child by a stepparent or other relatives.

In situations where a grandparent is concerned about losing contact with a grandchild, it may be possible for the grandparent to seek visitation rights. While grandparents do not have the same rights to a child as the legal parents, the courts generally do recognize the importance of the bond that often exists between grandparents and their children. Judges tend to consider such issues as whether a child has a healthy relationship with the grandparents as well as whether it is in the best interests of the child to maintain that relationship.

Grandparents who would like to obtain visitation rights to their grandchildren might benefit from speaking with a family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review their case and make recommendations regarding a legal strategy that can reestablish and continue this important relationship.

Different types of visitation after a divorce

 

When North Carolina parents are going through a divorce, disagreements over custody and visitation are not uncommon. However, knowing what to expect might help both parents make the transition more smoothly.

In some cases, courts will order fixed visitation for the noncustodial parent. This might be weekends, weekday evenings or merely holidays. This might be more apt to be ordered if the parents are in conflict or uncooperative. In addition, it may be ordered to provide children with more stability in their routine.

Reasonable visitation might be ordered if parents are cooperative with each other and are capable of working out their own visitation schedule. This may be helpful to some couples, since it allows more flexibility for scheduling. However, if the parent with custody refuses to cooperate or becomes uncooperative afterward, the other parent may want to go to court to ask that the visitation be changed to fixed times and dates.

Grandparent visitation rights depends on state law and may vary. However, the court may give greater weight to the parents if they are refusing to allow the grandparents to see their children. In some states, laws are more restrictive and may only order visitation for grandparents if a child’s parent is deceased.

Some custodial parents may have problems with the other parent failing to perform their visitation rights. Laws governing this vary from state to state. In some cases the amount that the noncustodial parent has been ordered to pay may be increased by the court.

One thing that both parents should know is that a custodial parent cannot deny the other parent visitation rights if there is a child support delinquency. The way to deal with this problem is to seek enforcement of the order with the assistance of an attorney.