When your children have kids of their own, you get to experience the unique pleasures of being a grandparent. Unlike parents, who are usually responsible for discipline and rule enforcement, grandparents often get to fill fun roles in the lives of the children they love.

As well as getting to enjoy holidays and birthdays with your grandchildren, you might also provide childcare services or even let your child and your grandchildren live with you. You likely have a deep love for your grandchildren, which you want to continue to share with them. The state protects that love and bond by legally recognizing the rights of grandparents.

Situations beyond your control can affect your relationship

Unfortunately, when issues arise between you and your child, or when your child experiences a loss of parental authority either due to divorce proceedings or the state terminating their parental rights and responsibilities, your relationship with your grandchildren could wind up in jeopardy.

The good news is that regardless of your child’s situation, Colorado recognizes the important role that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren, meaning you may have the right to seek visitation.

Under what circumstances can you request visitation?

It is possible for both grandparents and great-grandparents to ask Colorado to allocate visitation time to them in certain circumstances. The court recognizes that severing ties between grandparents and grandchildren can do serious emotional and social damage to the children on the heels of an already traumatic experience.

If your child has lost parental rights and responsibilities, has died or has divorced and not sought visitation or parenting time, you can go directly to the Colorado family courts and ask them to consider your potential right to grandparent visitation.

Provided that you have a pre-existing relationship with your grandchild and that you can show the court that you intend to play a positive role in their life, you may be able to secure visitation even if the custodial parent or foster parents did not initially want to work with you. In some scenarios, you can even ask for a full or partial allocation of parental rights, referred to in other states as custody.

Grandparent visitation can be invaluable for struggling kids

As a grandparent who has long played a role in the lives of your grandchildren, you likely represent normalcy, love and connection to family for your grandkids. Getting to see you and spend time with you can enrich their lives and help protect their sense of family and community during an otherwise disruptive period of their lives.