About Your Grandparent Rights In Colorado
In Colorado, family courts may grant grandparents visitation rights and custody to their grandchildren, if it’s in the best interests of the child(ren) to do so. If you are seeking legal counsel and assistance with exercising your grandparents’ rights, contact Burnham Law for a case evaluation.
Parenting time and decision-making issues are not limited to parents. Maternal and paternal grandparents often get involved in custody cases either through supporting the child’s parent, being the grandchild’s caretaker or as actual parties in the case.
Colorado law acknowledges rights to grandparents in certain situations, while the United States Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), limited grandparent visitation orders by holding that parents’ due process rights impose a “special weight,” a burden on the grandparent to overcome parental wishes when the court has before it a grandparent visitation petition.
Natural Parents Presumed to Know Best
In Troxel v. Granville the Supreme Court found that parents have certain fundamental rights in the raising of their children. Thus, the importance of decision-making responsibilities, and Colorado must have a compelling reason for imposing upon those rights.In certain situations, there are compelling reasons and grandparents have standing to be heard
C.R.S. §19-1-117 is the applicable statute for grandparent visitation. In order for a grandparent to seek visitation rights with their grandchild, they must petition the Court provided that an underlying custody case has already been filed. Grandparents cannot start a custody case for the sole purpose of seeking visitation. Grandparents can seek visitation in the following situations:
- The parents have had their marriage annulled, or the parents are legally separated or divorced;
- Legal or residential custody of the child is given to someone other than the parents, unless the child is being adopted; or
- The child’s parent who is the child of the grandparent dies.
Grandparent Parental Responsibility
C.R.S. §14-10-123.3 is the applicable statute for grandparent parental responsibilities. Grandparents seeking parenting time of a grandchild must have had physical care of the child for a six-month time period and less than six months have elapsed since that physical care ended. Only then may they seek parental responsibilities of the child.
Grandparent Guardianship & Power of Attorney
If the grandchild is in need of a legal guardian, in situations such as the parent being in the military, incarceration, abandonment or other absence, grandparents may be able to petition the court to be appointed as the child’s guardian or power of attorney.
Our lawyers are committed to resolving child custody disputes in Colorado and protecting the rights of grandparents and their relationship with their grandchildren. With multiple offices across Colorado, we bring our extensive litigation experience
to every case we handle. Contact Burnham Law to schedule a consultation today.