The relationship between a child and her grandparents is special. Grandparents often play a pivotal role in a child’s upbringing, providing comfort, wisdom, and often, cookies. Colorado recognizes the importance of these relationships and is one of just a few states that has codified grandparents’ rights. However, these rights are not automatic - there is a family law process grandparents must follow in order to assert their rights, and there are certain circumstances that must exist.
If you are a grandparent and feel that you may need a court order to keep seeing your grandchildren, it is important to consult an attorney. The legal process for asserting grandparents’ rights can be tricky and you will want a strong legal advocate on your side.
When Can Grandparents’ Rights be Asserted?
In order for grandparents to assert their legal right to visitation with their grandchild, one of several qualifying circumstances must be present in your situation. These qualifying circumstances are:
Separated parents - If your grandchild’s parents are separated and their parenting time allocations are judicially determined, this is a qualifying circumstance. This is common in divorce, but can also occur when unmarried parents separate and need the court to establish a parenting time plan.
Third-party custody - If someone other than one of your grandchild’s parents has custody of them, you can assert your rights as grandparents to keep seeing your grandchild.
Deceased parent - If your child, who is also the parent of your grandchild, has passed away, you may need to file for grandparents’ rights if the surviving parent is not allowing you to see your grandchildren.
The reason one of these circumstances must be present before the court will consider granting grandparent visitation is that Colorado courts want to keep parents in control of their children’s upbringing. Some parents may have legitimate reasons for restricting one or more grandparents from spending time with their child. As long as both your grandchild’s parents are alive and together, the court is not going to interfere with their decision-making regarding how much time their child spends with her grandparents.
Call a Denver County Family Law Attorney
If you are experiencing one of those circumstances and want to file for grandparents’ rights, Pesch Law Office, PC may be able to help you re-establish your relationship with your grandchildren. Our experienced Denver family law attorneys will take the time to listen to your concerns and assess your family situation to determine whether you may be eligible for grandparents’ rights. Call to schedule a confidential consultation.