Grandparent Visitation and Family Law
In North Carolina, grandparents have the right to seek visitation with a grandchild only if custody is in dispute between the parents.
If one parent is deceased, there is no custody dispute, there is no custody dispute with another parent, and there is no legal basis for a grandparent to seek visitation though a court action. While there is on-going litigation between the parents, a grandparent may seek to intervene in the action to establish grandparent visitation rights. If both parents have abused or neglected their child, or they are otherwise unfit as parents, or they have acted inconsistently with their constitutionally protected rights as a parent, then a grandparent (or other relative) may seek custody of the child under limited circumstances.