50A-374. Grant of caretaking or decision-making authority to nonparent.

(a) In accordance with the laws of this State and on the motion of a deploying parent, a court may grant caretaking authority of a child to a nonparent who is an adult family member of the child or an adult with whom the child has a close and substantial relationship if it is in the best interest of the child.

(b) Unless the grant of caretaking authority to a nonparent under subsection (a) of this section is agreed to by the other parent, the grant is limited to an amount of time not greater than (i) the time granted to the deploying parent in an existing permanent custody order, except that the court may add unusual travel time necessary to transport the child or (ii) in the absence of an existing permanent custody order, the amount of time that the deploying parent habitually cared for the child before being notified of deployment, except that the court may add unusual travel time necessary to transport the child.

(c) A court may grant part of the deploying parent's decision-making authority for a child to a nonparent who is an adult family member of the child or an adult with whom the child has a close and substantial relationship if the deploying parent is unable to exercise that authority. When a court grants the authority to a nonparent, the court shall specify the decision-making powers that will and will not be granted, including applicable health, educational, and religious decisions.

(d) Any nonparent to whom caretaking authority or decision-making authority is granted shall be made a party to the action until the grant of caretaking authority or decision-making authority is terminated. (2013-27, s. 3.)