Under Colorado law, grandparents have visitation rights in certain circumstances.

When Can a Grandparent Have Visitation Rights?

The three circumstances in which a grandparent can have visitation rights according to C.R.S. 19-1-117 are:

  • The children’s parents have dissolved their marriage.
  • The children are in the legal custody of a guardian.
  • A parent has died. The deceased parent must be the grandparent’s adult child.

Are There Any Other Requirements for Filing for Grandparent Visitation?

Yes. The three specific requirements grandparents must meet to receive a court ordered visitation are:

  • Standing. A grandparent must have a legal right to petition for visitation.
  • Overcome the presumption that the child’s parents are fit to make visitation decisions. The court assumes the parent is using sound judgment when making visitation decision about grandparent-grandchild visitation. Grandparents will have to show that this particular presumption is wrong.
  • Show clear and convincing evidence that grandparent visitation is a grandchild’s best interest.

Is There Any Way I Can Lose Standing Regarding Grandparent Visitation?

Yes. If the child is adopted, the birth grandparents lose their right to petition for visitation.

How Does the Court Decide Grandparent-Grandchild Visitation?

The court uses the same approach as it does with parent-child visitation decisions. It looks at what is in the best interest of the child.

It is the grandparent’s goal to show “special factors” making grandparent visitation in the best interest of the child. Special factors include:

  • A significant relationship between grandparent and grandchild prior to the court petition
  • A bond or connection made between the grandparent and grandchild because of one or both parents’ death

Can a Lawyer Help Me Visit My Grandchildren?

Absolutely. You should talk with a child visitation lawyer about how you should attempt to get visitation. An attorney will also prepare and file your visitation petition for you.