Grandparent Rights

The state of Colorado provides for legal protections for grandparents’ rights when the children’s parents divorce. Grandparents may seek legal redress for the establishment of parental rights, responsibilities and visitation with their grandchildren. These rights have been established under two laws: the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act (UDMA) and the Children’s Code.

Grandparents Rights: Attorney Kirk Garner

Through the UDMA, grandparents may ask the courts for parental or visitation rights and responsibilities when the child does not currently have the physical care of a parent or in cases where the grandparent has provided physical care of the grandchild for a minimum of six months. To begin the court action, the grandparent may file a petition seeking allocation of parental rights and responsibilities in the appropriate court. In addition, the grandparents must file the petition while the grandchild is under their care or under six months from the termination of their physical care of the child. The grandparent must also ensure appropriate notice to all of the interested parties. The court will hold a formal hearing to determine if allocation of parental responsibilities and rights or visitation rights is in the child’s best interest.

The Children’s Code can offer grandparents the chance to retain their visitation rights with their grandchild. Usually, the grandparents will seek visitation rights through the Children’s Code after a significant disruption in the family that causes conflicts. For example, the grandparent can seek visitation rights after a marital dissolution in which the parental rights and responsibilities have been appointed to someone other than a parent. In addition, the grandparent may request visitation rights in situations where the child no longer resides with the parent or in cases where the parent has passed away. The grandparents can petition the appropriate court once every two years, and they must ensure proper notice to each interested party every time. The courts base their determination of visitation rights on the best interests of the child.

Work with Attorney Garner

The Law Office of Kirk Garner can assist grandparents seeking visitation or parental rights of their grandchildren. Mr. Garner has practiced family law for over 19 years, and he currently serves the Teller and El Paso counties of Southern Colorado. Contact his office for a confidential consultation regarding your rights pertaining to your grandchildren.