Are you concerned about a distant relationship with your grandchild? When a parent prevents the child from contacting you, Colorado grandparents can seek legal visitation under certain circumstances.
Learn more about the process of seeking grandparent visitation rights in Colorado.
Eligibility for visitation
You can petition the state for grandparent visitation only when the children’s parents have divorced, were never married or obtained an annulment. This option is also available when the child is part of a custody or paternity case, or when the child’s parents have died and the child has an appointed legal guardian. Grandparents are not eligible for visitation when another family has adopted the child and/or the court terminated parental rights for the child. Grandparents can request a visitation schedule once every two years. The court must preapprove requests for more frequent visitation.
How to request visitation
You must file a request for child visitation in the state where the parents’ divorce, annulment, paternity, custody or probate case took place. Often, this is the same county where the child lives. Requests require four court forms:
- JDF 1704 Motion to Intervene
- JDF 1705 Order to Intervene
- JDF 1701 Verified Pleading Affidavit for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation
- JDF 1702 Order for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation
Before submitting these forms to the court, you must hand-deliver a copy to the child’s parents or guardians, as well as to anyone else involved in the case. Then, you must file the forms along with a $225 filing fee.
Attending the hearing
The child’s parents or guardians have an opportunity to respond to your motion. If they do not agree that you should have visitation, the court will schedule a hearing before a judge. The grandparents have the burden to prove to the court that the parents’ decision to prevent grandparent visitation is not in the child’s best interest.
Keep in mind that you must have clear and convincing evidence. Colorado law favors the rights of parents to make decisions about grandparent visitation.