Grandparents play a special role in the lives of their grandchildren, and sometimes this relationship can suffer when a child’s parents go through a divorce or there are other types of family issues. In order to preserve this relationship and protect the best interests of the children, some grandparents may move to secure custody or visitation rights.
If you are a Colorado grandparent and you want to protect the role you have in the life of your grandchild, you may wonder about how you can petition a court for this permission. While courts typically prefer the preferences and rights of the biological parents first, it is still sometimes possible for a judge to determine that grandparent access is important and beneficial. Ultimately, you will have to prove that it is in the best interests of the child above all else.
What factors are important?
When deciding if it’s appropriate to grant grandparents access to their grandkids—or to even grant custody—a court will carefully evaluate the entire situation. They will consider what the kids want, the evidence brought by the grandparents and the parents’ case. Some of the specific things a court will think about include:
- The preferences of the children
- The distance between the grandparents and grandkids
- The nature of the relationship the kids have with their grandparents
- Any evidence of abuse by the parents or grandparents
- Capability of the parents to care for the child
- Ability of the grandparents to care for and provide for the child
- How long the grandparents have been a strong presence in the life of the child
The court’s job is to decide what makes the most sense for the kids. As you can imagine, it’s not always easy to prove that you should have custody or visitation if you are not the biological parent. Due to the sensitive and potentially complex nature of this issue, you may want to speak about your goals with an experienced family law attorney.
The future for your grandkids
Circumstances may be threatening the relationship you have with your grandchildren, but there could be legal options available to you. With the right help, you may be able to fight for the best future for your family. If you are unsure of your rights or where you should start, it may help to simply reach out for an assessment of your case.