Like many other states, Colorado has a law that allows grandparents to ask a court for visitation rights with their grandchildren. It is interesting that in Colorado, great-grandparents also have a very similar option to ask for visitation.
Grandparents are allowed to ask for visitation in Colorado under three discrete circumstances. First, if the grandparent's child, that is, the legal mother or father of the grandchildren in question, has died, then the grandparents may ask for visitation.
Grandparents also have the right to ask for visitation in the event of a divorce or legal separation by the parents. Except in the case of an adoption, they may also ask for visitation rights when the child is not living with either parent.
Just because grandparents ask for visitation, however, does not mean a court will grant it. As with other custody and parenting time cases, a Colorado judge will first have to be satisfied that the visits would be in the child's best interests.
Colorado does offer an expedited process under which parties can get a visitation order just by submitting sworn statements to the court, but if either party wants a hearing, then a trip to court is likely. A judge may also decide to hold a hearing if they believe doing so will help them come to a better decision about whether the visits are in the child's best interests.
While one would hope that loving grandparents would be allowed to see their grandchildren often, grandparents in the Denver area may have to prepare themselves for litigation or negotiation if it appears they will not be able to have a relationship with their grandchildren without a court order. As such, they may wish to entrust their case to an experienced child custody attorney.