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When can grandparents seek custody of grandchildren?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Grandparent Rights

As a grandparent, watching your grandchildren suffer due to their parent’s incapacity can be disheartening. You could feel a strong desire to protect them, and in some cases, this might involve seeking custody. But, are you allowed to request custody of your grandchildren?

In Colorado, grandparents like you can only file for custody in certain circumstances. Particularly, you can seek custody when your grandchildren are in immediate danger or if their welfare is at risk. Here are three instances where you can pursue a custody battle.

When the child’s home environment is unstable

If the child’s home environment is unstable or unsafe, you may seek custody to provide your grandchildren with a more secure living situation. For instance, when the parents are struggling with substance abuse, leading them to neglect or hurt your grandchildren, you can seek custody to ensure the child’s safety and well-being.

When the parents passed away

When a parent passes away, the surviving parent often takes custody of the child. In the unfortunate event that both parents pass away, you can step in to care for your grandchild. The probate court will grant you custody if the parents leave a will indicating you as your grandchildren’s guardian. However, when no will is left behind, you might need to petition for the custody of your grandchildren.

When parents agree to transfer custody of their children to their grandparents

There could also be instances when the parents voluntarily transfer the custody of their child to you. If they cannot care for their child, they can grant you temporary or permanent custody. Temporary custody would involve a transfer of legal authority over the child. Permanent custody, on the other hand, would require both parents to terminate their parental rights.

In Colorado, grandparents like you have the right to seek custody of their grandchildren. However, it is crucial to understand that the court’s priority will be the child’s best interest. The court will consider various factors, including the child’s needs, their relationship with you and your ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment.

Every family’s case is different, and pursuing custody of your grandchildren can be a challenging journey. In this intricate process, seeking the guidance of a family law attorney experienced in grandparents’ rights would be beneficial. They can advocate for your rights and tailor a strategy that can secure a safe environment for your grandchildren.