There are some situations when a non-parent in North Carolina may seek to obtain custody of a child. For example, if a child’s parents are neglecting the child, a grandparent may seek to get custody and care for the child to ensure their safety, happiness, and ability to get a proper education.
But is it possible for a non-parent to get custody of a child in North Carolina? How does this work?
Yes. The easiest way to obtain non-parent custody in North Carolina is with a “consent guardianship.” This means that both parents voluntarily give up custody of the child. However, this is rare, especially in situations where the safety or well-being of the child may be at risk.
Beyond this, there are two grounds that can allow a non-parent to seek custody against a parent.
1. A parent-like relationship is present between the non-parent and the child
For example, if anon-parent takes the child to school, to the doctor, the child is living with them, or they buy them clothes, food, and other necessities to safeguard their well-being, they may be able to seek custody.
2. There are allegations of neglect, unfitness, or abuse against the parent, and non-parent has an adoptive or biological relationship with the child
For example, if there is evidence of drug use, neglect, physical or sexual abuse, or other such issues that render the living environment unfit, a non-parent may be able to seek custody.
The process begins by filing a petition in your local family court in North Carolina against the parents of the child. Then, when the case is brought before the judge, the non-parent must provide proof that they have legal standing to obtain child custody – and that doing sois in the best interest of the child.
In North Carolina, a parent has “a constitutionally protected right” to raise their own child. Therefore, solid proof and evidence must be submitted during a petition in order to gain non-parent custody.
In the absence of compelling evidence, such as testimony from family members, physical evidence of abuse, photographs of unsafe living conditions, and other such proof, the case is unlikely to succeed. The burden of proof is on the non-parent who is seeking custody.
This is one of the reasons why hiring a Greenville child custody attorney can be very helpful when seeking non-parent custody. Working with an attorney helps a non-parent put together a stronger case with a higher chance of success.
At Camino Law, Abigail Seymour and our team are ready to help you explore your options for non-parent custody in North Carolina. As experienced Greenville child custody attorneys, we will work closely with you to explore every avenue for obtaining child custody. To get a case review and consultation, contact us online right away.