Custody disagreements in Colorado are often classified as disputes between parents who are getting a divorce or have already parted ways. However, there are other people in the child’s life who will want to pursue custody and visitation rights. Frequently, this involves the child’s grandparents. Various factors are key when determining if the grandparent can get custody and visitation rights and understanding how state law assesses these matters is crucial to all parties.
Grandparents can request a court order to get reasonable visitation rights if there is a custody case over parental responsibilities. This will include the following: if the parents’ marriage was invalidated, if there was a divorce or if the court issued a legal separation; if there was legal custody granted to someone other than a parent or the child was removed from the home and no longer lives with the parent; or if the parent who is a child of the grandparent has died.
The grandparent seeking visitation rights must submit facts as to why visitation should be granted. A copy must also be given to the party who maintains legal custody or is allocated parental responsibilities. If neither side asks for a hearing, the court will grant the visitation rights if it is found to be in the child’s best interests for that visitation. There can be a hearing if it is requested or if it is necessary – in the court’s estimation – to serve the best interests of the child. The best interests will be a foundational aspect of whether the visitation will be granted.
The filing to receive visitation rights cannot be filed more than once every two years. The decision on whether to modify or terminate those visitation rights will be based on the child’s best interests. If there is a denial of parenting time to a parent, it will not impact grandparent visitation. For parents and grandparents who are concerned about custody and visitation issues in any context, it is imperative to have legal assistance to deal with the matter. A law firm that understands custody and the child’s best interests in all aspects should be contacted to help with the case.