Caring and Compassionate Grandparents Rights and Visitation Lawyers
At Littman Family Law, we understand that you love your grandchildren and wish to maintain a relationship with them as grandparents. Unfortunately, in the legal sense, the rights of grandparents come secondary to parental rights. When you seek more access to them through visitation, we can work with you to pursue the best situation for you and your grandchildren.
We know many Denver grandparents would like to spend more time with their grandchildren, and we are here to help. Whether you want to remove a child from a home where the parent has a substance abuse problem or the parents deny visitation for no reason, petitioning for grandparent visitation rights becomes a complicated process.
While grandparents’ legal visitation rights do exist in Denver, they are somewhat limited. We provide grandparent visitation legal services to Denver and the surrounding areas. Rest assured that we will help you with your visitation case.
Denver Grandparent Visitation Rights
You will find several situations where a grandparent(s) can seek legal visitation or custody of their grandchildren. Under Colorado law, the grandparent must clearly establish one of the qualifying circumstances below:
- The parents of the child must already be divorced, separated, or the marriage is annulled
- The child’s parent (the child of the grandparent) has died
- A third party has custody of the child who is your grandchild
- The child has been living with you for at least the last six months
These judicial interventions for the child show the court that the parents’ decisions have been questioned and you as the grandparent have standing to request visitation with their grandchildren. In some cases, when the grandchild resides with their grandparents, they can petition the court to share parental responsibilities with the grandparents.
Determining If Visitation Is in the Child’s Best Interest
For a grandparent to show that visitation is in the grandchild’s best interest, certain factors influence the decision. First, you must show clear and compelling evidence that you had a significant relationship with the grandchild prior to the intervention; or second, you must demonstrate that a close relationship has developed between you and the child since the parent’s death.
The Court Gives Deference to Parents
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the states cannot give grandparents unrestricted visitation rights but must balance them with the rights of parents. Then in 2006, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a visitation disagreement between parents and grandparents does not represent a meeting of equals.
Essentially, the court gives deference to parents unless the courts deem them as legally unfit. When disputing visitation rights with parents, grandparents must present “clear and convincing evidence” to the court. A Denver grandparents’ rights and visitation attorney can advise you on what is deemed clear and convincing evidence for visitation.
When Denver Grandparents Cannot Sue for Rights
In the state of Colorado, grandparents cannot sue for visitation rights in some circumstances, including:
- When the child’s welfare has never before been in question
- Once the child is adopted
Remember that the court’s responsibility must always act in what they believe is in the children’s best interest.
Misunderstandings of Grandparent Visitation Rights
To help you prepare for the process of suing for grandparent visitation rights, consider the following misconceptions regarding those rights.
First, just because you have had a relationship with your grandchildren does not guarantee legal granting of visitation rights. Many times, the court will follow the wishes of the parents.
Second, don’t assume that you have no option to pursue legal visitation with your grandchild. There have been many court cases where Denver grandparent visitation rights have been upheld, and the grandparents now have legal grounds for visitation.
Where Denver Grandparent Visitation Rights Stands Now
At Littman Family Law, we understand that, as a grandparent, you want to maintain a strong bond with your grandchildren. In addition, you may wish to help them through hard times. Unfortunately, Denver grandparent visitation rights have gotten harder and often depend more on the judge reviewing the request than the evidence.
When this happens, you need a professional lawyer who can advise you on the best approach for grandparent visitation rights. Protecting your rights and the best interests of you and your grandchildren stands at the forefront of what we do. When appropriate, we will help you submit an affidavit and file a motion for visitation rights with your grandchild.
Denver grandparents’ rights and visitation attorneys at Littman Family Law are trained in family mediation and will gladly take your case. We take your unique circumstance into account and work to help you get the visitation rights you want.
Schedule an appointment with Littman Family Law by calling 303-832-4200 or send us an email today. We will discuss your case and determine the best way to help you through the legal process.