Legal Question in Family Law in North Carolina

Grandparent's Right and Visitation in North Carolina

I have two grandchildren who live in Northeastern North Carolina. I live in Virginia. My son, the childrens father, died in September of 2004 at the age of 22. He was not married to the mother. I have only seen the children once since my son died. I am very concerned and greatly desire to spend time with them. I have tried to call the mother of the children and she has not responded. Considering this will be taking place in North Carolina, I would like to know what is the overall stance on grandparent's right and visitation in North Carolina and other states if pertinent.

I feel that my grandchildren are losing touch with their paternal side of the family since my son's death. I feel that in the best interest of the children, they should not lose touch with their paternal family because he died before they ever knew him.

Also, I would like to know what legal action would be necessary.

Thank You.

Asked on 3/05/05, 4:50 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Fred Kaufman Fredrick S. Kaufman, Esquire

Re: Grandparent's Right and Visitation in North Carolina

Since I do not practice in N.C. I can only speak to VA law and note that domestic law is very similar amongst the states.

Virginia law allows interested third parties to file for visitation. The US Supreme Court law says that if BOTH parents do not want grandparent visitation, grandparents have no rights. In this case only one parent might object. That being tha case, I think you have a very good case of being granted regular visitation with your grandchildren. You should contact a domestic lawyer in the County where the children live to file the appropriate paperwork. In Virginia you would file a petition for visitation, have it scheduled and appear to make your argument.

Good luck

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Answered on 3/05/05, 8:31 pm
Wayne Comer Wayne E. Comer, Esquire

Re: Grandparent's Right and Visitation in North Carolina

I have no knowledge of N. Carolina domestic law and it has been about 2 years since I delved into Virginia grandparents visitation rights. One drawback to your case, as I recall that subject from a while back, is that you need to show that a bond had developed between the grandparent and grandchild which may prove quite difficult in your case. It you want to give it a shot, I would suggest a very polite letter to the parent requesting a visit and send CERTIFIED RETURN RECIIPT. Of course you need a local attorney to follow up if still no satisfactory response.

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Answered on 3/05/05, 10:49 pm

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