Child custody for grandparents and other loved ones

Retaining custody of a child is not always an exclusive privilege of a parent. North Carolina grandparents, extended family members, or others who have a relationship with a child who is not biologically or legally theirs may be eligible for seeking custody of the child. Under certain circumstances, and if the individual can prove that they could provide better care for the child, custody may be issued to a party other than the parents.

Because the court will assume that the child’s parents have his or her best interests at heart and are making safe and sound decisions to this extent, the third party interested in custody will have to provide evidence to the contrary. Proof will have to show that the parents have consistently displayed a lack of concern and are making poor choices on behalf of their child that may obstruct his or her well-being.

After receiving concrete proof of any detrimental behavior exhibited by the parents, the court will take into account the third party as well as the parents when determining the child’s custody. The judge will hear testimony on behalf of all parties, review evidence and make a decision of what living arrangement would be in the child’s best interests.

If an individual wishes to seek custody of their grandchild, they may find it beneficial to speak to an attorney about their legal options. An attorney may advise what evidence can be useful in a custody matter and what the process will entail. Likewise, if a parent desires custody of their own child when another parent or family member has custody, an attorney may be able to assist this individual in taking steps towards retaining custody.