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Quality Time

Grandparents' Rights

In today's society, grandparents are often involved in the upbringing of their grandchildren. They may provide emotional support, financial assistance, or even have full-time custody. In some cases, they may also become legal guardians or adoptive parents.

But what happens when the relationship between a grandchild and their biological parent sours? Are grandparents legally entitled to visitation rights or even custody of their grandchildren?

As a seasoned Greenwood Village Family Lawyer, I understand that the legal landscape surrounding these issues is complex and varies from state to state. Here in Colorado, grandparent rights do exist–but they are limited.

Grandparents' Rights in Colorado

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If you are a grandparent and the parents of your grandchildren are alive and healthy, and the children live with them, then the children’s parents have the ultimate right to decide whether you can spend time with them. This is because the US Supreme Court has declared that the care, custody, and control of one’s children is a constitutional right and parents are presumed to act in the best interests of their children.

As a result, the parents get to decide how their children spend their time and with whom. 

However, under C.R.S. § 19-1-117(1), you may have rights and request visitation when:

  • The child’s parents are already or currently having their marriage dissolved (divorced), separated, or annulled. (Any case where parenting time is determined is a qualifying circumstance.)

  • The custody of the child has been allocated to someone other than the child’s parent (a third party).

  • The child’s parent has passed away (but only if it is the parent that is your child).

Custody vs. Visitation

If you ask for grandparent rights and the court grants your request, the parents still keep their rights to make decisions for their kids.

Filing for Custody

There are cases where you, as the grandparent, can request more than just visitation rights.

Say your grandchildren live with you and have lived with you for at least six months and no more than 182 days have elapsed since your grandchildren last lived with you, you can file an independent action and ask the court to award you parental responsibilities (custody).

These heightened rights include parenting time and decision-making responsibility. You do not need to intervene in a case that has already been filed. However, you must submit a Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities asking the court to award you custody of your grandchildren.

Grandparent Custody Rights

If either of the children’s parents objects, you must present clear and convincing evidence that your proposed custody schedule is in the grandchildren’s best interests.

Once again, the law presumes that the parents are acting in your grandchildren’s best interest. Therefore, you must present powerful evidence to overcome the presumption if the parent objects.

If the court awards you parental responsibilities, then you have all the rights and duties that a parent would have. This means that you may make all major decisions for your grandchildren, including educational and medical decisions. You also get to decide who the children spend their time with, including their parents or other grandparents.

How I Can Help

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With years of experience as a Greenwood Village family law attorney, I stay updated with the latest changes in the law and understand how to apply this knowledge to your situations effectively.

Whether it's interpreting the nuances of the law, building a robust case, or devising a  winning strategy, I can assure you that you are in capable hands with Greenwood Village.


I'll explain all your rights and all the legal procedures involved in asserting them in clear and understandable terms.

From preparing for your court appearances to understanding the implications of different legal strategies, I am committed to making this process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you. You can count on me to answer all your questions, address your concerns, as well as reassure you in the moments when you need it most.


Securing your rights as a grandparent often involves presenting your case in court. This is the moment when I bring my established ability to argue persuasively, present compelling evidence, and negotiate effectively.

I will fight tirelessly for your rights, always keeping in mind the best interests of your grandchildren while ensuring your voice is heard and your rights are respected.

So if you are seeking visitation or custody rights, please don't hesitate to reach out.  Let's work together to secure the best outcome for you and your grandchildren.

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