By Jennifer Workman, Esq.
Grandparent rights vary state by state; however, in Colorado, grandparent rights are found within Title 19 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The grandparent's rights issue typically presents itself when one or both parents are unable to see their own children, whether it be due to death or a restriction on the parent's parenting time.
If a parent, or both parents, is not allowing the grandparents to have visitation, the grandparents may file a Motion for Grandparent Visitation under these three limited circumstances: (1) a pending dissolution of marriage, (2) an adoption proceeding, or (3) they may file a motion into a new case if a parent of the child has died.
The court will then review the circumstances of the other parent's reasons for removing the grandparents from the children's lives and determine if the parent is acting the in the best interest of the children. It is up to the grandparents to show that the parents are not acting in the best interest of the children when making this decision, which can be a very difficult and daunting task.
If the Court finds the parent is not acting in the best interest of the children regarding his or her decision about grandparent visitation, the court will issue an order allowing grandparent visitation. However, if the Court determines that parent is acting in the best interests of the children, the Court will then enter an Order denying grandparent visitation.
In addition to grandparent visitation, in some circumstances, grandparents can request to court issue them parental responsibilities. In order to request allocation of parental responsibilities, the children must be living with the grandparents within six months of filing the petition and the children must have lived with the grandparents for at least six months.
In most cases, grandparent disputes regarding visitation and custody are very complex and grandparents should strongly consider obtaining counsel for assistance for these very difficult and emotionally charged matters.
Please contact the Domestic Team at Feldmann Nagel Margulis for all of your Family Law needs.