Grandparent Visitation Rights in Colorado
Individuals may wonder if grandparents have the right to ask the court for visitation rights with their grandchildren. In Colorado, grandparents do have the right to ask for visitation rights under certain conditions.
A grandparent can seek a court order, in the county where the child resides, granting the Grandparent reasonable visitation with their grandchild if:
- There has been a child custody case
- There has been a case involving the allocation of parental responsibilities
- If the marriage of the parents has been held to be invalid or dissolved or there has been a legal separation.
- If the child has been placed outside of the home and is not living with the parent (unless legally adopted)
- If the parent of the grandchild has died and that person is your son or daughter.
The Court will look to “the best interests of the child” to determine if grandparent visitation is appropriate. The grandparent has the burden to prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that the parent who wants to deny visitation is not acting in the best interest of the child and that visitation would, in fact, be in the best interest of the child.
Enforcement of Grandparent Visitation Rights
If you have been granted grandparent visitation by the Court and the parent with legal custody or parental responsibilities is not complying with the Order, you may bring a motion to the Court to have your visitation enforced. The Court has broad powers to enforce visitation given the circumstances of your particular case. The court may order mediation or a full hearing and has the power to bring sanctions or even require jail time if the Order is not complied with.
Seeking Custody of a Grandchild
In order for a Grandparent to gain legal custody of their grandchild the parental rights of the parents must either be terminated under Colorado’s Dependency and Neglect Statutes or voluntarily relinquished under Colorado’s Children’s Code or the parents must have both died.
In all of these cases you would have to be part of the proceedings to terminate or relinquish parental rights and there would most probably be one or more hearings before the Court. We are happy to go over the required actions with you given the circumstances of your case.
If you would like to ask one of our attorneys a question about grandparent visitation or custody in Colorado or skip that step and come in for a consultation, we encourage you to do so sooner rather than later.