Census data indicates that 8 percent of grandparents actually live with their grandchild in the same house, and across America 2.7 million grandparents supply for the bulk of their grandchildren’s needs. This is an increase of 300,000 households since the 2006 Census. Additionally, 30 percent of working mothers with children under five said that grandparents were the primary caregiver while they were at work.
While it’s true that that all the support provided by grandparents would have implications on public policy, “grandparents’ rights” are also a hot topic among Colorado Springs divorce lawyers. It is not uncommon for a grandparent to be awarded a specific amount of visitation time with minor children after a divorce; nor is it surprising to learn that grandparents would be willing to fight for this right in court.
Grandparent involvement is in the child’s best interest
There’s no doubt that grandparents can be a very steady and calming force in a child’s world; one that can be extremely useful during the turmoil of their parents’ divorce. Given the fact that the basis of any custody decision must rest on the best interest of the children, it’s clear that grandparents must be considered more than ever. In addition to their role as caregivers, children form very powerful bonds with their grandparents due to their ability to provide a unique perspective on the world.
As much as the courts recognize grandparents for their role in a child’s life, one of the two parents is typically granted custody in a divorce. This could jeopardize the ability of the non-custodial grandparents to spend time visiting the child and it could have a serious impact on maintaining the relationship they have with their grandchild. In addition, in the unfortunate event that one of the parents passes away, a child could potentially lose all contact with the family of the deceased parent.
These and other issues have been the impetus for cases where grandparents attempt to get legal visitation rights with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, different states have different views on this matter and some even feel that the custodial parent, if he or she is in good health, has the right to determine with whom the minor child interacts.
Legal Rights for Grandparents in Colorado
If you have concerns about how an impending divorce might affect your ability to spend time with grandchildren, you have every right to seek legal visitation rights in Colorado. However, there’s no guarantee that the court will agree with your position. Each case is different, so it will depend upon the circumstances of the divorce and the logistics of such visitation.
As a grandparent seeking visitation rights in Colorado, you will need an attorney who can make convincing arguments to show that such rights would be in the best interests of the child. This type of argument will maximize the chances of obtaining these rights. In order to accomplish this, it must first be proven that the grandparents have formed a special bond over a period of time and established a special closeness to the child. An attorney will set out to prove that the severing of these bonds would adversely affect the child’s emotional health.
What about the child’s wishes?
In most states, if the child is old enough to make this decision the Court will solicit his or her wishes as part of the testimony. The age of the grandparents should not play a role in any decision. However, grandparents’ rights are still an extremely complex issue and a successful outcome depends heavily on the grandparents’ ability to make a convincing argument. Contact an experienced Colorado Springs family lawyer to get started on your case and secure the right to visit with your grandchildren.
In Colorado, grandparents have rights to visitation with their grandchildren if the parents approve. Parents have a constitutional right to determine with whom their children should visit. Sometimes, however, we encounter the situation in which the parents decide that the grandparents, may not see the grandchildren. What can a grandparent do?
If there is a pending case, either a divorce, a paternity, or a juvenile case, grandparents may seek to have their grandparent rights established formally. If there is abuse or neglect, the grandparent may work through the Department of Human Services to protect the children, and obtain their grandparent rights in that case.
If the grandchild has been living with the grandparents for over six months, the grandparents may also bring their own new case to obtain grandparent custody of the children.