NC Fathers

NC Grandparent Rights and Child Custody

NC Grandparent RightsNC Grandparent Rights is an issue that has heated up lately, so we wanted to write an article that gives our personal thoughts on the issue of grandparents and their rights to minor children after a divorce or relationship breakdown. Before we do, NC Fathers is an organization of non-custodial parents, grandparents, step-parents, and other family members who are trying to reform the family courts for judicial non-discretion equally shared parenting when it comes to custody matters when both parents are fit. You can join our organization’s FACEBOOK PAGE and MAILING LIST after reading our GOALS if you identify with this article. Our organization believes that the current family court system is build around one parent winning custody and control while the other parent loses and becomes marginalized with the system as a mere visitor and payment provider. We believe this has the result of pushing one parent, grandparent(s), and step-parents to the outer margins of their kids lives which creates great divisiveness and leads to increases in domestic violence, fighting, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and eventually very hopeless and sick children. Under an equal system, there would be nothing to fight over, no need for parents to excoriate each other, and parents and grandparents could learn to work together for the betterment of NC children. While we place a lot of impact on parental empowerment, we also realize several areas where grandparent rights do come into play in NC and we will address those below.

NC Fathers does NOT endorse the law firm in this video, it is simply here for educational purposes:

Posts related to NC Grandparent Rights in Child Custody matters – NC Adoption Laws, NC Domestic Violence Industry, Putative Fathers

NC Grandparent Rights and the family courts for child custody

If you are a NC non-custodial parent or grandparent, then it is important that you click on the blue and red graphic below to get a reminder of how divisive the family courts are and how they systematically disenfranchise one side of a family from their children while empowering custodial parents and their extended families. As a NC Grandparent, many times you are seeking rights to your grandchildren because the State of NC made it impossible for the parent in your life to actually be a parent. Many times, we believe there would be no need for grandparent rights if the system empowered both parents instead of trying to push one as far away as possible to feed the industry of rich lawyers, political agendas, and ideology.

Grandparents

NC Grandparent Rights And What We Support For The Best Interest Of Children

  • Our organization believes that when one parent dies, the love, support, and importance of grandparents and surviving siblings still remains and often times after one of their parents dies, the other parent has total control to COMPLETELY remove children away from their other family because there is significant ambiguity in NC laws protecting surviving siblings and grandparents.
  • When one parent meets with incarceration, substance abuse, mental or physical incapacitation, or other impairment, the one parent will move to seek total control of children which has serious implications for the grandparents, step-parents, and siblings of the other parent who is experiencing difficulty. Many times we see where when one parent in incarcerated, the other parent will attempt to start a new life many states away when there is very much a fit, loving, and important grandparent locally who needs to continue that relationship.
  • In almost all social services situations where this agency desires to place children with foster parents, or even wants to adopt them out, we believe that the rights of NC grandparents should be considered above everything else.
  • We believe that when one parent meets with a restraining order or other domestic violence situation, the rights of grandparents to have visitation and decision making ability should remain intact.
  • NC Fathers believes that when BOTH parents have been found unfit, that BOTH grandparents in NC should have equal visitation (when applicable) and decision making ability before social services and the courts feed the adoption industry.

Where we DO NOT believe in NC Grandparent rights, is when a grandparent fights a FIT parent because he/she believes that the grandparent is the better parent as this just gives ammunition to the other parent to seize on this breakdown and move for complete control.

What are your thoughts on the rights of grandparents in NC? Use the comment system below to let us know your thoughts even if you do not agree with us. Also, please consider sharing this article with other grandparents in NC on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin so that we can get a good debate going on this issue.

Are you a grandparent in NC who has legal and/or physical custody of a child? We would definitely like to hear from you. Or, if you are a grandparent in NC who has lost contact with a grandchild because of ambiguity in the law then we also would like to hear from you and see your comments.

NC Grandparents at odds with each other over the rights of children of divorce

Each day, we hear from maternal and paternal grandparents who fall victim to the socialization that the family courts in NC have imposed on us where we get contact and comments about how bad the other parent is in an effort to cast themselves in the best light to maintain / achieve custody for their son or daughter and this process is disturbing to us. Before we start talking about grandparent rights in NC, we have to first fix the system by which one parent is pushed to the margins of their kids lives because in reality most grandparent rights are tied to their son or daughter having equal parentage and access to their children. All too often we see maternal grandparents doing everything possible to denigrate fathers and vice versa. This has to stop, but we realize this is how our system is setup. We think that a lot of grandparents do this so that if anything happens to their son or daughter then they will be most favored to win custody of their grandchild(ren) which is unfortunate.

In the comment section below, there is a very good comment by a Mecklenburg County grandparent who hit the nail on the head regarding a loophole in NC law that allows for a grandparent to file for visitation rights after the death of a parent. We often refer to this loophole as the “Family Court Pay Wall” that prevents parents and grandparents from ever seeing their children again if poverty or inability to get funding together to hire an attorney before a malicious parent established consistency for a child. We hope that NC grandparents concerned for their rights will contact their Senators and Representatives today and ask them to close this loophole not only for themselves, but for their sons, daughters, and grandchildren.

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May 11, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

17 Comments »

  1. I know grandparents are important but until fathers rights are fixed, I do not think that should be the focus.

    Comment by anon | May 11, 2013 | Reply

    • You are so right!!!!

      Comment by Beth | May 11, 2013 | Reply

  2. All sides of this are now horribly wrong… genuine caring grandparents are marginalized just as completely as non custodial parents while grandparents which facilitate this marginalization are empowered..

    For example, in NC, DSS says a maternal grandmother has precedence as a caregiver over a father; this is just plain wrong

    Comment by Paul Duffey | May 11, 2013 | Reply

  3. I identify with this article on so many levels. My son was killed in a car wreck 4 years ago and he had two children that he was very active with. I saw the children 3 times a week and was also very active. It was not 6 days after his death that the mother up and moved herself and the children to Michigan without ever telling us of her plans or giving us the opportunity to say good bye. While I realize that grandparents can apply for visitation under new NC Law, she took advantage of a loophole because it took me 4 months to save up enough money to hire a lawyer and another 5 months to get a hearing. During this 9 months according to the Judge, the mother established consistency in Michigan and there went any rights I had to see my grandchildren except a few weeks in the summer. So even though there are grandparent rights available in NC, if you do not have immediate money and the ability to get an immediate hearing, you are going to get your feelings hurt. Thank you for this article and giving me the ability to get my word out.

    Comment by Paula (Mecklenburg County NC grandparent) | May 11, 2013 | Reply

    • This is very sick and I am sorry this happened to you. It just goes to shows that mothers do not always have the best interest of children at heart. I hope that one day when the child is older and seeks you out that you will set the record straight! Grandparents need to rally behind this issue and come to the understanding that shared parenting is the best interest of children and that all this fighting in courts does unmeasurable amounts of harm to children.

      Comment by Kim (Mecklenburg County NC Grandmother) | May 12, 2013 | Reply

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost our son in April of this year. He has 2 boys that live an hour away. When he would get them everyother weekend they always stayed here at our home with us. Then he moved out, about 2 years ago, but the children stayed with us at our home, and he would come and spend the weekend here when they came. When he passed away his ex wife told me and our whole family she would not keep the children away from us, she was not that type of mother. Guess what she did and we had to hire a lawyer. We only get the first weekend of every month visitation. We were used to getting 1 week at Christmas and half a week Easter, then 2 weeks in the summer. We have gone 7 weeks without see them. Hurts so bad. I have tried to contact Pat MCcory 2 times. We need ( all grandparents ) to start a petition and have something done about this!!

      Comment by Ellen Hill | July 3, 2013 | Reply

  4. I think this is something that is ignored a lot of times in court. I know personally, that my kid’s grandparents suffered from not seeing their own grandchildren. The effects are two fold in this matter, because not only do the children miss out on time and experiences, but the my children grew up with the false notion that their grandparents didn’t care about them. Just as their mother practiced slander and parental alienation against me, she also did this with my parents and family. They were allowed to see them so rarely that they later admitted to me that eventually distanced themselves emotionally. Every time they began building a bond with them, my ex would bad mouth them and would cut off visits with them. Visiting with my kids often involved my ex playing games and making it difficult for my parents to see them. Knowing the time they had been cheated out of emotionally wrecked me when my father passed away, because I knew he’d never have a chance to re-build that bond with my kids. The ex in all of her spitefulness also made sure that they didn’t get to attend his funeral.

    Comment by Bob W | May 11, 2013 | Reply

  5. This is an issue that is dear to my heart. I can tell you from my personal experience, it has almost destroyed our family. the manipulation, the lies, the anger. for us as grandparents to support and abide 100% by the court order only to have our grandchild pulled from us continuously. when we went to court it was held against us that the mother had only contact with me, that i dropped the child off., and that i supervised the visits. and yet that is what the mother and her attorney wanted. when we asked to have it put in the court papers if something was to happen to either parent that the grandparents would still have the right to see the child. we were told…. if that is to happen you can bring it back to court. my grand child has great grandparents and great great grandparents that have never even seen him and he is almost two years old. it is as if the father side of the family does not matter. my son filed for DNA testing, my son filed for visitation,and joint custody, my son has done everything that has been asked of him and yet he and us as a family are treated as if we are dirt to step on. it has been a long process and sadly one that is not going to be over anytime soon. the saying goes it takes a village to raise a child…. apparently that does not include family. the tears I have cried are more than I can even bare sometimes. what gets me through… my grand babies smile. for that few short hours that we see him… all is right with the world and I hope that he carries our love with him when we are not with him. as I told the judge in court the last time we were there…. I hope that some day the anger can be put aside and that our grandson will actually come first. that growth will occur and allow the parents to see that the child comes first. I know my son sees it… I only hope he has the strength to continue until the other parent can see it too.

    Comment by Joannie G (NC Grandmother) | May 11, 2013 | Reply

    • Amen Joannie… Because of the courts and DSS I went from seeing my granddaughters whenever I wanted to now every other weekend.. They’ve been moved from the county and the parent (my son) where they have lived since birth and put with their mother who was gone from their lives for almost 6 years.. Not by any ones choice but her own! She was always informed of everything over the years concerning them even when they left the state for vacations.. Walks back in knows nothing about them not even their favorite colors or anything and gets them handed to her! Tell me how that is fair? Thing is these kids do not want to be there but the GAL, DSS nor anyone else will listen to them.. What do you say to this child when they ask you why no one will listen to them? Who is there to protect them? Breaks my heart, I cry all the time thinking and worry about them and praying they are alright.

      Comment by Valerie Rice (Grandmother in NC) | May 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Amen! Most of the time the mother is the one that uses her children to manipulate to get what she wants! She could care less about your feelings, desires, or how much you love and cherish that child and want to be a part of their lives no matter what. All they see most of the time is a way to control the other party or to destroy/punish them. We need to petition the courts daily until something changes regarding grandparent rights.

      Comment by Renee | June 9, 2013 | Reply

  6. Thank you for doing this article for us grandparents who often get overlooked in the family courts and with child custody. I just shared this article on Facebook and can tell you I have a lot of positive comments from other grandparents who are concerned about their rights. Again, than you.

    Comment by Susan P (NC Grandmother) | May 11, 2013 | Reply

  7. This issue gets even more cloudy when you factor in the fact that maternal grandparents probably have way more importance in the family courts and with custody than paternal grandparents given the historical hatred for fathers in the system.

    Comment by Michael | May 12, 2013 | Reply

  8. Just saw this on the mailing list and facebook page. Thank you for realizing our importance in this process!

    Comment by Janie (paternal grandparent in wake county) | May 12, 2013 | Reply

  9. My son and I have not seen his child in over 2 years after the mother moved out of state while he was on deployment and I am just sick over a system that allows this. He and I had such a great relationship with my granddaughter and feel that she targeted a military man knowing that the system is even more harsh on military fathers than civilian fathers. Grandparents are important people and I hope one day my grandchild realizes how much damage her mother did!

    Comment by Zenada | May 12, 2013 | Reply

    • My father was married before he married my mom and had 3 daughters by that marriage. We saw them some when we were all growing up but not as much as we should to form a true bond. She inplanted a lot of hatred/resentment in their hearts for our dad, my mom and me and my brother. We are all adults now and it hasn’t been but since the last few years that one of them has anything to do with us more than just holidays. My brother and I tried to reach out to them several years ago to get together once a month but that lasted for about 3 months with one excuse after another. Our dad has been a good dad he just fell out of love with their mother and made a choice to move on. I wish woman could see the damage they do when they breed hatred into the hearts of their children for their fathers and the fathers family. They think just because they bore the children they have that right! They fail to think that the father was needed for the conception and that those children are just as much a product of him and his family as they are of the mother and her family. Ladies agree to disagree with your husband and let him go but don’t destroy your children by taking away their father and their extended family on his side! All grandparents should be free to see their grandchildren when ever they can!!!!!!!

      Comment by Renee | June 9, 2013 | Reply

  10. I think both grandparents and fathers rights need to be fixed now. My nephew is been abuse physically by the dads girlfriend and DSS says its abuse, but they are making them take classes but not going to work if they are still doing drugs. DSS knows but said they have to catch them. Meanwhile they have said that because my mom turned them in she is not allowed to see him ever again. So now he is stuck with druggies and no one to help him when it happens again. We are going to fight them looking for the best lawyer we can that hopefully will win. But NC sucks because they want to drag their feet about grandparents rights.

    Comment by shonnie | August 30, 2013 | Reply

  11. I have custody of my oldest grandchild due to the fact the father walked out and left her, her 2 year old sister and my daughter. my daughter got upset after staying with me for about a month. when she left my 5 year old granddaughter remained with what is now 7 months. my daughter will not tell us where she is and we have not seen our 2 year old granddaughter in 7 months.

    Comment by debra | September 30, 2013 | Reply


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