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We at Plog & Stein, P.C. are proud to assist clients with matters related to “grandparent rights” within our family law practice. In various situations, grandparents have certain rights, whether to seek what is called “grandparent visitation” or custody of their grandchild. Our Denver grandparent visitation lawyers are skilled in dealing with issues that arise regarding grandparents or grandchildren, including assessing the strength of a grandparent visitation case or whether a grandparent meets the Colorado statutory criteria to seek custody.
A grandparent can seek visitation with a grandchild in any child-related case, such as:
- A divorce with kids
- A custody case
- A juvenile case, such as a dependency and neglect case
When Can Grandparent Visitation Rights Be Sought?
Grandparent visitation does not have to be sought at the initial phase of the case and can be sought years down the road. Grandparents generally seek visitation in instances where their child (the parent) does not have frequent visitation with the child, for whatever reason. Grandparents can also file a separate case in instances in which their child, the parent, is deceased. The standard for awarding grandparent visitation is whether such would be in the “best interest” of the child, based clear and convincing evidence.
Awarding Custody to Grandparents
Custody of a grandchild is an issue that our attorneys also deal with. The grandparent visitation attorneys at our Denver firm have even assisted great-grandparents in gaining custody. Beyond a general reference to the best interest standard, there are technicalities set forth in C.R.S. 14-10-123 related to a grandparent, or non-parent, having what is called “standing” or the legal right to seek custody.
For a non-parent to seek custody, the child must fall under one of the following categories:
- Either not be in the care of either parent at the time the case is commenced
- The child must have been in the physical care of the grandparent for a period of 6 months or more which ended less than 6 months before the filing of the case.
Not all grandparents meet these criteria, though some do. Our skilled family lawyers in Denver will be able to inform you as to whether you have standing, as a grandparent, to seek custody in a Denver area court. In many instances, the grandparent will seek custody to protect and care for their grandchild due to absent or neglectful parents.
In some instances, grandparents may seek to gain “temporary custody” of a grandchild. When starting a grandparent child custody case, the court is not looking at the proceedings as just a temporary stop-gap measure, but rather is of the presumption that the grandparent’s intent is to follow through with establishing a permanent child custody order. That being said, grandparents can start a case with the hope the the parents get their act together and, if so, dismiss the case or arrive at agreements or plans to get the child ultimately back into the parent(s) care.
Under U.S. Supreme Court case law, specifically a case called Troxel v. Granville, parents have a fundamental constitutional right to the custody or raising of their children. As such, grandparents do have a higher burden of proof to meet to gain custody over the objection of a parent. The grandparent’s rights attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. will be able to help assess your situation and advise you regarding your rights and options related to your grandchild(ren).
Need More Information? Speak With a Denver Grandparent Visitation Attorney
If your child is going through a divorce or custody case and you have concerns about access to your grandchild or the care of him or her, one of our lawyers can assist you in understanding and fighting for your rights. We are here to help in any way that we can. The grandparent visitation lawyers at our Denver firm offer competitive rates to all our clients throughout Colorado.
Call our office at your earliest convenience to learn more about your grandparent rights.