Grandparents play a critical role in the lives of their grandchildren. When parents separate or divorce, it can impact how often grandparents can have access to the grandkids, especially if there are ongoing disputes between family members. If you find yourself in this situation, you understand how difficult this can be and how it can negatively impact your own mental and emotional health, as well as that of your grandkids.
You may wonder how you can maintain the relationship you have with your grandkids and if there is a way you can secure access to them. While the preferences of the biological parents will take precedence, there may still be options available to you. It could be in your interests to learn about grandparent visitation rights, custody options and other ways you may be able to protect this critical relationship.
Your legal options
One of the first steps to take when seeking access to your grandkids is to seek a negotiated outcome with the parents. A calm discussion about a reasonable visitation schedule may provide you with the access you need to keep a strong relationship. However, this may not always work. If you decide to move forward with legal action, it may be helpful to remember that Colorado family courts will give priority to a resolution that is in the best interests of the children. The court will consider:
- Emotional and mental well-being of the kids
- Capability of the grandparents and parents to provide a stable environment
- Wishes of the biological parents
- Strength and length of the relationship between grandkids and grandparents
- Any evidence of abuse or neglect from parents or grandparents
- Distance between the child and his or her grandparents
- Wishes and preferences of the children
If there is evidence that the child suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of his or her parents, the court may consider granting custody to the grandparents. A court will likely only grant a grandparent visitation against the wishes of the parents if there is significant evidence that this is in the best interests of the kids.
Fight for your grandkids
As a grandparent, it may break your heart to learn that you will not have access to your grandkids. If you have not been successful with your attempts to resolve this issue on your own, you will benefit from seeking an assessment of your situation and an understanding of the specific legal options available to you.