Grandparent’s Rights - Do
I have rights? Current Colorado Law
DO I HAVE RIGHTS? CURRENT COLORADO LAW
There are currently two laws in Colorado under which Grandparents
may seek to establish parental rights and responsibilities or visitation
with a grandchild. The first law is the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage
Act (“UDMA”), and the second is the Children’s
Under the UDMA, Grandparents may seek visitation or parental rights
and responsibilities in situations where the child is not currently
in the physical care of a parent or when the grandparent has had
physical care of the child for at least six months. To initiate
the action, a grandparent can file a petition for allocation of
parental responsibilities in the proper court. The petition must
be filed while the child is in the grandparent’s care or within
six months from the time their physical care of the child terminated.
The grandparent must also provide notice of the petition to all
interested parties. After a formal hearing, the Court will determine
whether visitation rights or the allocation of parental rights and
responsibilities is in the best interests of the child.
The second law, the Children’s Code, provides grandparents
with the opportunity to preserve their visitation rights with the
child. Often times a grandparent will request visitation under the
Children’s Code after a disruption in the child’s family.
For instance, a grandparent may request visitation following a divorce
where the parental responsibilities have been allocated to an individual
other than the parent. A grandparent may also seek visitation in
cases where the child no longer lives with the parent or when a
parent who is the child of the grandparent has died. The grandparent
may petition the court for visitation under the Children’s
Code only once every two years and must provide notice to all interested
parties. The determination of visitation rights is also made in
the best interests of the child.
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