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Legal Statutes: Colorado

UPDATED September 18, 2017

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Part 1. General Provisions

back to top§ 19-1-117. Visitation rights of grandparents or great-grandparents

(1) Any grandparent or great-grandparent of a child may, in the manner set forth in this section, seek a court order granting the grandparent or great-grandparent reasonable grandchild or great-grandchild visitation rights when there is or has been a child custody case or a case concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities relating to that child. Because cases arise that do not directly deal with child custody or the allocation of parental responsibilities but nonetheless have an impact on the custody of or parental responsibilities with respect to a child, for the purposes of this section, a “case concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities with respect to a child” includes any of the following, whether or not child custody was or parental responsibilities were specifically an issue:

(a) That the marriage of the child's parents has been declared invalid or has been dissolved by a court or that a court has entered a decree of legal separation with regard to such marriage;

(b) That legal custody of or parental responsibilities with respect to the child have been given or allocated to a party other than the child's parent or that the child has been placed outside of and does not reside in the home of the child's parent, excluding any child who has been placed for adoption or whose adoption has been legally finalized; or

(c) That the child's parent, who is the child of the grandparent or grandchild of the great-grandparent, has died.

(2) A party seeking a grandchild or great-grandchild visitation order shall submit, together with his or her motion for visitation, to the district court for the district in which the child resides an affidavit setting forth facts supporting the requested order and shall give notice, together with a copy of his or her affidavit, to the party who has legal custody of the child or to the party with parental responsibilities as determined by a court pursuant to article 10 of title 14, C.R.S. The party with legal custody or parental responsibilities as determined by a court pursuant to article 10 of title 14, C.R.S., may file opposing affidavits. If neither party requests a hearing, the court shall enter an order granting grandchild or great-grandchild visitation rights to the petitioning grandparent or great-grandparent only upon a finding that the visitation is in the best interests of the child. A hearing shall be held if either party so requests or if it appears to the court that it is in the best interests of the child that a hearing be held. At the hearing, parties submitting affidavits shall be allowed an opportunity to be heard. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court finds it is in the best interests of the child to grant grandchild or great-grandchild visitation rights to the petitioning grandparent or great-grandparent, the court shall enter an order granting such rights.

(3) A grandparent or great-grandparent shall not file an affidavit seeking an order granting grandchild or great-grandchild visitation rights more than once every two years absent a showing of good cause. If the court finds there is good cause to file more than one such affidavit, it shall allow such additional affidavit to be filed and shall consider it. The court may order reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party. The court may not make any order restricting the movement of the child if such restriction is solely for the purpose of allowing the grandparent or great-grandparent the opportunity to exercise his grandchild or great-grandchild visitation rights.

(4) The court may make an order modifying or terminating grandchild or great-grandchild visitation rights whenever such order would serve the best interests of the child.

(5) Any order granting or denying parenting time rights to the parent of a child shall not affect visitation rights granted to a grandparent or great-grandparent pursuant to this section.
Repealed and reenacted by Laws 1987, S.B.144, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1987. Amended by Laws 1991, H.B.91-1255, § 3, eff. May 31, 1991; Laws 1993, S.B.93-25, § 18, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1998, Ch. 310, § 64, eff. Feb. 1, 1999; Laws 2014, Ch. 374, § 2, eff. June 6, 2014.