If you’re a grandparent and you’re concerned about remaining a part of your grandchild’s life, you need a Denver grandparent rights attorney from a law firm with strong community ties and years of experience in representing grandparents who wish to remain a vital part of their grandchildren’s fleeting childhoods. At Ciancio, Ciancio, Brown P.C., we have a strong reputation of success representing family members throughout many of life’s challenges, including grandparents seeking to maintain or establish a strong, consistent relationship with their grandchildren. Contact our Denver family lawyers today to find out about your rights as a grandparent.
There are many things to consider during the turbulent period of the divorce process. The division of assets, child custody, child support, and the question of who remains in the family home all come into play. Grandparents may be overlooked during this challenging and distressing time, but in Colorado, grandparents have certain rights. If a fractured marriage results in the child’s custody primarily going to the parent not biologically related to the grandparents, or other circumstances prevent active participation in a child’s life, today’s grandparents have legal recourse.
In recent decades, most states have acknowledged that grandparents have the right to request the following motions from the court under specific circumstances:
In Colorado, grandparents may have a legally protected right to play a role in their grandchildren’s lives in the following circumstances:
Colorado family courts place the children’s best interests as their highest priority. If grandparents can effectively demonstrate to the court that it’s in the child’s best interests to have legally protected time with their grandchildren the courts may award them visitation or custody.
Science-backed studies reveal that a strong relationship between children and their grandparents not only boosts feelings of security during childhood but also reduces instances of depression in both grandchildren and their grandparents. Children who enjoy the consistent presence of grandparents in their lives have fewer emotional problems compared to those who don’t.
Grandparents are a strong asset for raising children, offering the wisdom they’ve earned through raising their own children as well as being dependable resources for babysitting, overnights, and outings. Perhaps even more importantly, grandparents provide a critical stabilizing force for young children during a disruption in their family lives such as a divorce or death.
The Denver grandparent rights attorneys at Ciancio, Ciancio, Brown, P.C. understand the importance of a strong bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we have the resources, knowledge, and experience to give you the best chance of achieving the outcome you desire in family legal matters, including visitation or child custody for grandparents.
While Colorado recognizes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that the care, control, and decision-making of parents over their children is a constitutional right with the presumption that they’ll act in the best interests of their children, the courts are allowed to step in during specific circumstances, such as when called upon to make custody and child support decisions during a separation or divorce. In this case, grandparents have the legal right to request visitation rights from the court. To do so, the grandparents must file a motion with the court and include the reasons for the request. They must also submit an affidavit showing reasons to support their assertion that it would be in the children’s best interest for the courts to grant visitation.
The Colorado courts require clear evidence that spending time with the grandchild(ren) is in their best interests in order for a judge to override the wishes of the parent or parents. A skilled lawyer with experience in grandparents’ rights can help craft a compelling case for grandparent visitation or custody.
If a judge decides that continued contact with grandparents is in the best interests of the children, the parents and grandparents have the option of working out a mutually agreeable schedule for visitation. If they are unable to come to an agreement the judge may set a schedule for visitation. Depending on the unique circumstances of the case, visitation could be one weekend a month, every other weekend, or whatever the family schedule allows. In some cases, the judge may include a set number of days for vacation visits during summer as well.
Once the court sets an official schedule for visitation the parent(s) must follow the order. Grandparents’ visitation rights are enforceable under Colorado law. A visitation order for grandparents also remains subject to modification or revocation if circumstances change.
In some circumstances, a grandparent’s right to visitation with a grandchild may extend to a right to seek either shared or sole custody of a child. Grandparents cannot seek custody under ordinary circumstances, such as when a child’s custody with one or both parents is settled, safe, and secure, but grandparents may seek custody rights or parental responsibility in the following circumstances:
The Denver grandparent rights attorneys at Ciancio, Ciancio, Brown, P.C. can evaluate the unique circumstances of your case and let you know if you have standing to file a motion seeking custody of a grandchild or grandchildren.
Domestic laws dealing with critical family matters in Colorado can be complex. At Ciancio, Ciancio, Brown, P.C. we understand the importance of having a law firm with extensive experience in sensitive legal issues, including defending a grandparent’s rights to a strong emotional bond with their grandchildren, especially during a time of disruption and distress in a child’s life, such as after a divorce. Our team of dedicated family law attorneys will diligently investigate all aspects of your case in order to aggressively pursue your interests.
Contact our Denver area law firm today to put our decades of experience and successful track record behind you with individualized attention, open communication, and powerful resources to maximize your chances of obtaining your goals.