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Do both parents of grandchild have to sign guardianship papers in order for me(grandmother) to take grandchild out of state?

Jacksonville, NC |

My son is in the military and his wife just tried to overdose. Need to get baby out of the situation and I don't need any complications

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Attorney answers 3


Definitely a difficult situation, but one that unfortunately is not related to guardianship of a child. This is not just a difference in terminology; it's a matter of court jurisdiction and procedure.

You may want to call Child Protective Services, and possibly CPS could step in and assist you with obtaining temporary custody. Ultimately, it may be a matter for the domestic courts for custody of a minor child. If you can't get immediate help through CPS, you may want to post your question in the child custody section of this site or contact an experienced domestic attorney in your county.

I am admitted to practice law in the State of North Carolina only. This response is provided for general informational purposes only, and therefore does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice can only be provided after consultation with a licensed attorney with experience in the area in which your concern lies. This is so because each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and/or documents at issue. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Gilbert W. File IV

Gilbert W. File IV


PS - the reason I say this doesn't relate to guardianship is because in NC that primarily relates to an adult incompetent person not a minor who has one or more parents (natural guardians) living. Otherwise, it's a child custody matter. I do not believe there are any "papers" or anything that can be used informally just to take a minor child out of state, regardless of whether one or both parents sign. Both parents have very strong, fundamental rights to custody of children and raising them, and this is an issue that courts take seriously and usually requires notice to the parents and an opportunity to be heard on it.


I would certainly contact the Department of Social Services. You need to speak with an attorney about potentially filing on you or your son's behalf.

Nothing in this question should be taken as legal advice or resulting in an attorney/client relationship. Anyone facing a legal issue of this kind should speak to an attorney personally about their legal options, giving them the full facts of their particular situation.


If you intend to take the child on a semi-permanent basis a temporary custody order would most likely be your best bet. If both parents consent it should be a fairly quick and fairly inexpensive proposition.

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