Grandparents’ Rights in Colorado
During the divorce process, it’s easy to focus solely on the custody battle and other parental issues while ignoring the rights of the grandparents. In many cases, the important role that a grandparent plays in a child’s life is overlooked. Fortunately, Colorado acknowledges grandparents’ rights and allows for grandparents to establish either parental or visitation rights.
Grandparents can fight for visitation privileges in the following cases:
- The child’s parents have divorced or obtained a dissolution
- The child is placed in non-parental custody or third-party custody
- The parent has died
In each of these scenarios, the importance of the grandparent figure is exponentially amplified, especially as the primary parental figure is no longer present. It’s crucial that grandparents defend their rights to ensure the best interests of the child.
Parental Rights for Grandparents
Aside from visitation rights, grandparents can also seek to obtain parental rights and responsibilities. Grandparents are qualified to be a third party or non-parental custodians. Both parents may lose their custodial rights if:
- They are found incapable of raising a child. Whether it’s because of substance abuse or physical abuse, the Court can change custody of the child.
- They make no effort to have a relationship with the child.
- They are diagnosed with medical illnesses that would prevent them from being an involved parent.
If any of these circumstances occur, the grandparents can file for full custody of the child. However, there are many people who could be the potential caregiver of the child such as neighbors and close family friends like the godfather of the child. It will be the responsibility of the grandparents to prove that their custody is in the best interest of the child. This complex analysis and representation usually requires the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, such as those at Mike Hulen, PC.
Visitation Rights for Grandparents
If the Court decides that someone other than the parent will have parental responsibilities over the child, then grandparents have the right to preserve their visitation rights. Even if the parent who is the child of the grandparent has died, the grandparents may petition for visitation when someone outside of the family is raising the child.
Again, as long as it is ascertained that visitation rights for the grandparents are in the best interest of the child, the appeal is likely to be approved. However, grandparents can only petition for visitation only once every two years according to the Colorado Children’s Code. Since this is such an important aspect, it’s crucial to rely on the experience and knowledge of family law experts who want to help you win the rights that you deserve. Contact our legal attorneys at (303) 932-8666.