When a couple decides to split, it can be a challenging situation for the whole family; particularly if the couple has children together.
As a grandparent, you may wonder whether you have the right to visit your grandchild after the couple’s divorce/separation is final. Read on to find out.
You May Need to Request Visitation Rights from the Court
According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, a grandparent or great-grandparent can request visitation rights from the court if the grandchild or great-grandchild falls within one of the following circumstances:
● The child’s parents have divorced or entered a dissolution of civil union
● The child’s parents are legally separated
● The parent’s marriage or civil union was annulled
● There is an allocation of parental responsibilities or paternity case regarding the child
● The child's parent, who is the child of the grandparent (or grandchild of the great-grandparent), has died; there does not need to be an existing APR domestic relations or paternity case.
Difference between Requesting and Getting Grandparents Visitation
If a grandparent or great-grandparent meets one of the above then they likely meet the requirement to request grandparent visitation. However, there is a big difference between requesting and getting that visitation.
Under federal and Colorado law, there is a constitutional right to be a parent. This means there is a presumption that a parent acts in the child’s best interest. Therefore if a parent decides to deny grandparent visitation then that decision is presumed to be in the child’s best interest, and the grandparent who is seeking visitation, must show that the parent’s decision is not in the child’s best interest. This is a hard, but not insurmountable, hurdle to overcome
Note: Unless approved by the court, a grandparent or great-grandparent may not request an order that grants visitation more frequently than once every two years.
If you are a grandparent or great-grandparent and you’d like to pursue visitation rights with your grandchild or great-grandchild, we may be able to help. We understand how important it is to you to maintain a solid relationship with your loved one, and we want to do all we can to help you secure that bond. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office right away if you have any questions.
Schedule a consultation with our skilled Colorado Springs lawyers today by calling us at (719) 626-8530.