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What are North Carolina's child custody laws?

If you've been fighting for custody of a child or want to seek out visitation with a grandchild, you may find that it is a confusing journey. Some states have different laws, and they could conflict with those in North Carolina. If your family is in more than one jurisdiction, your attorney may have to help you through this, as it can be very complicated to know where to file your request.

The laws about child custody in North Carolina vary from other states, although most do use the Uniform Child Custody Act. This act is used in North Carolina, and it recognizes options for visitation by grandparents, joint custody and considering a child's wishes when it comes to deciding the terms of child support.

The Uniform Child Custody Act was adopted in 1979, and it has been used to help grandparents and joint custody issues be recognized across state lines. On top of that, children in the states where this act is adopted can speak for themselves and make their wishes known, so the court can take into account the person the children want to live with.

Grandparents don't have to worry about being removed from a child's life in states where the act is approved and used by law. They can apply for visitation rights with their grandchildren. The visitation rights are called non-parental visitation rights or third-party visitation rights. These rights have been extended in cases when the grandparents being in the child's life is in the child's best interest. For instance, if the child has always grown up visiting his or her grandparent, then there should be no reason for that to change unless there is abuse or violence to consider.

Source: FindLaw, "North Carolina Child Custody Laws," accessed Oct. 20, 2015

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