Denver Grandparent Visitation Lawyer
Colorado values family time for grandparents, and when a court order grants parental responsibilities to one parent and not the other parent, the parents of the non-custodial parent and grandparents of the child may seek grandparent rights to spend time with the child. In some cases, grandparent rights may include custody arrangements, but they are mainly for visitation time.
For the most opportune outcome of your grandparent visitation request case in Denver, CO, the influence and experience of a qualified family attorney is a resource you can’t afford to go without. For this reason, Woody Law Firm, LLC strives to provide family legal services at affordable rates. A law firm exclusive to family law, we have an extensive record of successful family law cases to back our knowledge of Colorado law and varied family law services, including requests for court-ordered grandparent visitation rights.
Reasons to Seek Grandparent Rights
There are many reasons why grandparents would want to seek grandparent rights, the most common being divorce or separation of the child’s biological parents. Grandparent rights prevent a strained relationship between the grandparents and their grandchildren when there is conflict between the parents or when custody is granted to one parent, but the grandparents still wish to have a relationship with the child. Other cases in which one parent has sole custody of a child and the other parent is not involved in the child’s life could be due to extenuating circumstances like incarceration or a history of abuse or drug use. At these times, grandparents may seek a court order to see their grandchild in the event the custodial parent tries to prevent them from having a relationship with the child.
Another reason grandparent rights are awarded is in the event that one parent dies. In these cases, if one parent passes away, grandparents’ rights may be granted to avoid the surviving parent denying the deceased parent’s family members, specifically the grandparents, from seeing the child.
Grandparent Rights in Colorado
Colorado law establishes the importance of family relationships, specifically between grandparents and great-grandparents. It explains that a strong, close bond between grandchildren or great-grandchildren and their grandparents or great-grandparents can be essential in emotional development. It cites that these types of relationships may provide acceptance, love, patience, wisdom, stability, and support essential to the well-being of the child that may not be available elsewhere. Because having a relationship between grandchild and grandparent or great-grandchild and great-grandparent can have positive effects on the health and well-being of a child, Colorado believes that it may be in the child’s interest for the grandparents to be allowed to see the child under court order when necessary in order to preserve and strengthen family ties.
Recent Updates to the Law
Colorado law governing grandparents’ rights has been recently updated to better answer the purpose of the law. The new act serves to clarify the existing law concerning court-ordered family time for grandparents. It elaborates that grandparents’ rights are presumed orderable by the court only when it is in the most favorable interests of the child to have visitation time with the grandparents seeking rights. Furthermore, if a ruling against grandparent rights sites that a relationship between the grandchild and the grandparents seeking rights is not in the interest of the child, the grandparents may appeal the decision in an attempt to prove with clear and convincing evidence that it would, in fact, be in the child’s interest to have a relationship with them.
The act also allows for a court-ordered legal representative to be appointed to represent the child’s interests in the legal matters of assessing how advantageous or disadvantageous it would be for the child to have time with the grandparents seeking rights. Great-grandparents are also named in the act, who may also seek visitation time.
Finally, the update to the law changes the legal term of grandparent rights, previously called “visitation rights,” to the new term “grandparent family time” or “great-grandparent family time.” The new law was passed and went into effect on August 7, 2023, and it applies to all cases of family visitation time filed after that date. However, it should be noted that Colorado law denies grandparents or great-grandparents of a child whose parent or parents’ parental rights have been terminated by law to seek family time rights for grandparents.
How to Request Grandparent Family Time Grandparent Rights in Colorado
The first step to seeking visitation time with a grandchild or great-grandchild is to file a petition to the district court where the child lives. There must also be an affidavit accompanying the petition that explains the reasons that support the order for requesting grandparents’ rights. Secondly, all parties involved in the child’s custody agreements, including the custodial parent, must be notified of the order request and receive a copy of the affidavit and petition. They may file opposing affidavits or request a hearing. If no party requests a hearing, the grandparents’ visitation request will be granted as long as it doesn’t interfere with the interests of the child. If a hearing is requested, it will be up to the court to determine whether to grant the request or not.
Following a denial, the grandparents may overcome the ruling by presenting a convincing argument to the court. For cases that get this far without resolution, it is highly recommended the grandparents seek the counsel of a Colorado family lawyer if they have not already. This can be a crucial step in the process of getting court-ordered grandparents’ visitation due to the two-year wait for filing another request. It may require litigation to secure family time rights. With the right attorney, a well-documented and convincing case can be made on behalf of the party requesting visitation rights.
Grandparents Visitation FAQs
Q: Can a Parent Deny a Grandparent Visitation in Colorado?
A: When a parent is deemed fit by the Colorado family court, they are automatically assumed to have their child’s interests at the forefront of their decision to deny a grandparent visitation. However, if family time visitation is requested by a child’s grandparents, a judge will carefully consider the decision to grant the request or deny the request based on the unique circumstances of each individual case.
Q: Do Grandparents Have Rights to See Their Grandchildren in Colorado?
A: Grandparents do not have automatic rights to see their grandchildren in Colorado. To request visitation rights, grandparents must convince a family court judge using clear and evident proof that visitation with the child would serve the child’s interests in a positive way. If the judge agrees that it would have a positive influence on the child to have visitation with their grandparents, then grandparents’ rights for visitation may be granted. Thus, only grandparents and great-grandparents with court-ordered rights have rights to see their grandchildren in Colorado.
Q: Is Colorado a Grandparent State?
A: Colorado is considered a state that values grandparent time visitation with their grandchildren; however, the granting of rights is based on a case-by-case basis. A court order for family time visitation for grandparents must be requested through the Colorado family court. If grandparents meet specific requirements that qualify them to request visitation rights, they must then adhere to a strict protocol for processing a request for them. It is ultimately up to a judge to grant these rights if it is determined the visitation order is in the interest of the child.
Q: How Do I Get Visitation Rights in Colorado?
A: For grandparents to obtain visitation rights in Colorado, they must meet state law requirements that allow them to request a court order for visitation rights. If they meet the qualifications, they must then submit a petition and an affidavit requesting a visitation schedule for family time and notify the other parties, including the custodial parent. If the custodial parent contests the request, a hearing will be held, during which a judge will determine whether visitation is in the interest of the child.
Q: Do I Need an Attorney to Request Family Time for Grandparents’ Rights to Visitation in Colorado?
A: A reputable Colorado family lawyer with experience representing grandparents in their petition to request visitation rights ordered by a family court judge can be a beneficial resource to individuals seeking these rights. A family lawyer can advise grandparents on the ideal approach for their circumstances and the most influential pieces of evidence to present in their case to convince the judge that visitation is in their grandchild’s interest.
Hiring an Experienced Colorado Family Lawyer to Seek Visitation Rights for Grandparents
Filing a petition requesting grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ rights for visitation of grandchildren or great-grandchildren can be a delicate matter. It is important to get it right the first time since grandparents may only request rights for visitation once every two years. Preparing a strong affidavit is key to building an adequate and convincing case for the judge.
Woody Law Firm, LLC, can assist you in developing a compelling affidavit and then represent you at the hearing, if necessary, to present the most convincing case to the judge. We can help you show the court that your grandchild or great-grandchild will benefit from a relationship with their grandparents and/or great-grandparents. Contact Woody Law Firm, LLC, and find out how our services can optimize your case outcome and chances of receiving court-ordered family time rights to visit with your grandchildren or great-grandchildren.