Articles Posted in Grandparents

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Dear Carolyn,

I know I should have kept my mouth shut during the divorce, but I didn’t. My daughter-in-law ended up with custody (not that it wasn’t somewhat justified), but now she is taking it out on us and won’t let my husband and I see our own grandchildren.  We worked hard and saved all of our lives, and now we have time and enough money for trips to the beach, mountains, even Disney World, and would love to take our grandchildren, but we aren’t even allowed to take them out for ice cream.  As grandparents do we have any rights?

 

Carolyn Answers:

You are in luck! The judge can help you, in his or her discretion.  The glitter of Disney with your grandchildren may very well be in your future.

North Carolina General Statute 50-13.5(j) covers the rights of custody and visitation of grandparents. You will need to file a motion (a written request to the court filed with the clerk of court) if you cannot obtain the visitation with your grandchildren from one of the parents. Continue reading →

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Grandparents

Divorce can affect many relationships, and it is not unusual for grandparents to lose contact with their grandchildren in the process. Are you are a grandparent seeking custody or visitation of your grandchildren? If so, we may be able to help. At the Woodruff Family Law Group, our skilled North Carolina family law attorneys can meticulously analyze your facts and let you know your rights and options.

Under North Carolina law, grandparents can only seek custody and visitation with their minor grandchildren in certain circumstances. One such situation is if both the child’s parents are unfit (i.e., due to drug addiction, abuse, etc.) or unable to care for the child. An inability to care for the child may arise due to a serious disability or death. In such cases, the grandparents could report the parent’s unfit behavior or inability to care for the child to the court and request custody of the child.

North Carolina law allows a grandparent to intervene in an ongoing custody dispute and request visitation with a child. Grandparents cannot, however, seek visitation when their grandchildren are living in an intact family. In the case of McIntyre v. McIntyre, the paternal grandparents, whose son was deceased but had separated from his wife prior to his death, filed a claim for visitation with their minor granddaughter, who lived with her mother at the time. Since one parent was deceased, there was no custody action pending between the children’s parents. Continue reading →

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By Kristina Pisano, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

Recently we went home to Pennsylvania to visit my husband’s 88-year-old grandfather. He is the patriarch of the family and provides warm bear hugs any time we visit with a “Welcome home” whispered in your ear. He is the baby of 12 siblings and has survived two heart attacks and a stroke. Needless to say, he is a real fighter. During Easter dinner, he collapsed and coded twice after being rushed to the hospital. We were in North Carolina and were afraid that we would not be able to say goodbye. He received a pacemaker and defibrillator and now is back to his barrel laughs and typical jokes at a rehabilitation center.  Seeing him and his wife, who we call Memie, made me thankful that my husband’s parents had the difficult conversation several years ago with them about downsizing and moving into a retirement home.

Memie and Pappy lived in a 1930’s colonial style home with bedrooms upstairs and a washer and dryer in the basement.  When they both passed their 80th birthday, we could all see that it was harder and harder to go up and down steps. This house was Memie’s dream house; we loved visiting them because it felt like we were actually home. When the topic of downsizing was first brought up, it was met with a defiant, no! They wanted to live out their last days in the home they always dreamed of.

After having more delicate conversations and Memie seeing Pappy having more issues climbing the stairs every night, they agreed to at least tour a few facilities in the Pennsylvania mountainside. They found one they liked, after many objections, it was in an apartment in a larger retirement community. The amenities offered were a restaurant just steps from their apartment door, library, craft room, and entertainment center. Once Memie heard she would not have to cook, and a cleaning service would come in monthly to do a deep cleaning, she was sold. Continue reading →

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This is a must-see movie for grandparents seeking custody, particularly if the opposing parties are really the paternal grandparents vs. the maternal grandparents.  In a complex fact pattern, everyone gets it right in the end, after a movie filled with struggles.  All looked after the seven-year-old Eloise’s best interests, although it was certainly shaky for a while in the movie.

Kevin Costner plays Elliott Anders, a grandfather, who, with his wife Carol, is raising their granddaughter, cute and vivacious Eloise.   Carol and Elliott’s daughter died of congenital heart disease giving birth to cute, seven-year-old Eloise, who lives with Elliott and Carol.  Then, Carol dies suddenly in a car accident.  Eloise is in the third grade at an advanced school in Los Angeles.  Grandfather Elliott is immediately in the primary parent position with lots of new skill sets to learn, not to mention the grieving for his wife’s sudden death.

Continue reading →