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Which laws govern child custody issues regarding grandparents?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2017 | Child Custody & Parenting Time

Divorce is seldom easy, and those involving children are often particularly challenging. Colorado parents who divorce often disagree on matters concerning custody and visitation of their children. The court generally believes that children should be provided ample time with both parents following divorce to increase their chances of successfully adapting to new lifestyles. However, in certain circumstances, a parent’s presence may be detrimental to children, in which case the court would rule accordingly in the children’s best interests.

Nowadays, there appear to be an increase of cases involving grandparents. Some say they should be granted visitation rights while others believe grandparents should be able to sue for physical custody of their grandchildren. State laws vary concerning such issues, and if you’re current situation includes problems surrounding the topic, your best means of success may include arming yourself with as much information as possible ahead of time.

What does Colorado law say?

Although statutory provisions in every state may differ, one thing all states have in common is that the court considers the children’s best interests as the highest priority in all child custody and visitation situations, regardless of who is submitting a request. Where grandparents are concerned, the following applies in this state:

  • If a grandparent’s adult child (who is the parent of the grandchild) is deceased, the grandparent may seek visitation with his or her grandson or grand-daughter.
  • Following divorce, the Colorado court may award visitation rights to a grandparent.
  • In situations where a child is placed in the home of a third party, a grandparent may pursue visitation rights.
  • Right to visitation is negated in situations where adoption occurs, unless the adoptive parent is also a stepparent of the child in question.

Studies show children thrive when they maintain healthy, active relationships with family members following divorce; in most situations, this also includes grandparents. If your relationship as a grandparent is being challenged, you may proactively seek support to protect your rights and act within your grandchild’s best interests regarding any situation involving custody or visitation.

Many Colorado grandparents turn to experienced family law attorneys when facing problems regarding grandparent visitation. When it comes to children, adult emotions tend to run high, which, in certain circumstances, can result in acrimonious battles over whose interpretation of what’s best for the children is most accurate. An attorney can advocate on a grandparent’s behalf to help secure a fair and agreeable outcome in court.