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Do grandparents have visitation rights?

The immediate family is not the only one affected by a divorce. When parents split up, that may also distance grandparents from their grandchildren and make visits a very rare or non-existent occurrence. Grandchildren are often precious to their grandparents. Grandparents want to be able to spend time with them and be a part of their lives.

If your grandchildren's parents don't allow you to visit your grandchildren after a divorce, you have the option to pursue visitation rights. Sometimes it isn't easy to earn visitation rights, but here is what you need to know if you want rights to regularly see your grandchildren.

When can you pursue visitation rights?

There are three circumstances in which you are able to pursue visitation of your grandchildren.

· The grandchildren's parents are divorced

· The grandchildren are in custody of a non-parent guardian

· Your child has died

States have varying laws about grandparent visitation. In Colorado, court cannot limit a parent's right to make decisions for their child. As a grandparent, you are allowed to petition for visitation rights, but there are two things you'll need to be able to show.

You'll need to show that:

· The presumption that the parents are able to make proper judgment about visitation is wrong

· Grandparent visitation is in the child's best interest/benefits the child

In Colorado, children's wishes are also a factor in custody and visitation cases. At the judge's discretion of whether the child is able to form their own opinion, the child's desires may be considered in the case.

Do I have to bring a visitation case to court?

Even though parents may divorce, many of them still want what's best for their children. Mediation is a fairly effective way to come to an agreement about visitation without taking it to court. Mediation allows you to discuss the benefits of grandparent visits for the grandchildren, with the help of a third party during the negotiation. Parents may be willing to plan and negotiate visit times without a legal proceeding so that their children can still see you.

If they are unwilling to negotiate, however, you can appeal for visitation rights in court. In a visitation case, having a skilled family law attorney on your side will help immensely. Overriding a parent's right to decision-making for their child is incredibly difficult. You can always get a free consultation and case review if you have questions about what to do or what your rights are.

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