Parents have extensive rights in choosing how to raise their children. This can include the right to choose who gets to see their children. However, Colorado law recognizes that grandparents have an interest in seeing their grandchildren, and in some cases it’s in the best interest of the child to see their grandparents, even if the parent doesn’t want them to see each other.
Petition for visitation
Colorado allows grandparents and great-grandparents to petition the court for visitation with the child under certain circumstances. These include cases involving divorce, separation or annulment of the marriage between the parents. They can also include paternity cases where the parents were never married and cases where one or both of the parents have died.
Grandparents cannot petition for visitation if the parents’ rights have been legally terminated or if the child has been adopted.
A chance to respond
If a parent or guardian receives an official request for visitation, they have a chance to respond. If the parent objects, a court will weigh the evidence and may issue an order for visitation.
However, it’s important to note that the court must weigh the grandparent’s interest in maintaining a relationship with the grandchild against the parent’s right to decide how to raise their child. Ultimately, the most important interest is that of the child. The court must decide if the visitation is in the child’s best interests.
Patience and skill
Grandparents’ rights is a complicated legal subject, and it comes up in cases with tricky emotional issues. Resolving these cases takes patience and skill.
Grandparents who feel they are being prevented from seeing their grandchildren can talk to an experienced family law attorney to learn about their options. Even if the grandparents ultimately decide against a formal petition for visitation, a lawyer can advise them on the best course of action and help them to negotiate an agreement that works best for all parties, especially the child.