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Do paternal grandparent have rights to a minor child in

Customer Question
Do paternal grandparent have...

Do paternal grandparent have rights to a minor child in state of Colorado

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in CO family court?

Yes we have cooperated with everything they have asked of us and we r not gettin anywhere they say cause I’m just a granparent

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?

No didn’t think it was necessary but I thought grandparents have rights and I’m the only fighting for the baby I’m ready for an attorney

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes I’m askin for my sister she is really needing someone to help now

Submitted: 27 days ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 50 minutes by:
3/25/2018
Family Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 27 days ago
Michael Bradley
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,377
Experience: Owner at The Protection Group LLC
Verified

Under C.R.S. 19-1-117, a grandparent can petition a Colorado family law court for reasonable grandchild visitation rights in the following situations:

  1. The grandchild's parents have obtained a dissolution, annulment, or legal separation,
  2. The child has been placed into the legal custody of someone other than a parent, or
  3. The child's parent, who is the child of the grandparent seeking visitation, has died.

There is no automatic right to grandparent visitation - the Colorado family law court must find that it is in the best interests of the child to have grandparent visitation. And, once granted, Colorado grandparent visitation may be modified or terminated if it is in the best interests of the child.

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Family Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 27 days ago

In February 2005, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a ruling, In the Matter of D.C. and D.C., 04CA0249 (Colo. App. 2005) which reiterated that a grandparent in Colorado could not seek visitation with grandchildren when both of the children's natural parents were alive and there had been no prior Colorado family court actions.

The grandparent argued that the family was not intact, since the children lived with their mother, and not the father. However, the absence of a court action was fatal to that argument. Citing the Troxel decision, the Court of Appeals stated: "[T]he statute ensures that grandparent visitation decisions made by parents of intact families, where there has been no prior court intervention, are not challenged."

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Family Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 27 days ago

The definitive word on grandparent visitation in Colorado came from the Colorado Supreme Court in a 2006 decision, In re: Adoption of C.A., 137 P.3d 318 (Colo. 2006). There, the Court stated that "a dispute between parents and grandparents regarding grandparent visitation is not a contest between equals." On the contrary, the Court could only order grandparent visitation after adhering to the following requirements:

  1. A presumption in favor of the parental grandparent visitation determination.
  2. The grandparents must show, by clear and convincing evidence, that the determination is not in the child's best interests.
  3. The grandparents must show, by clear and convincing evidence, that the visitation schedule they seek is in the child's best interests.

"Clear and convincing evidence" is a high burden. While not as hard to meet as the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard required in criminal cases, it's more than the preponderance of the evidence standard typically required in civil cases. One civil jury instruction describes it as follows:

"The clear and convincing standard requires evidence of such convincing force that it demonstrates, in contrast to the opposing evidence, a high probability of the truth of the fact[s] for which it is offered as proof. To be clear and convincing, the evidence must be so clear as to leave no substantial doubt and be sufficiently strong to command the unhesitating assent of every reasonable mind."

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Family Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 24 days ago

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