Legal Information: Colorado


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June 17, 2021

If my child was conceived due to a sexual assault, can the offender's rights to the child be terminated?

You can file a petition in the juvenile court to prevent future contact with the person who committed the sexual assault and to terminate the parent-child legal relationship1 if all the following requirements are met:

  1. the offender must have been convicted of an act of sexual assault against you or convicted of a crime in which the underlying factual basis was sexual assault against you;
  2. the child must have been conceived during that sexual assault;2
  3. the conviction must have been on or after July 1, 2013;1Note: “conviction” can mean a guilty plea (including one that was entered as part of a deferred sentence), a verdict of guilty by a judge or jury, a plea of “no contest,” or, for a juvenile defendant, a disposition or adjudication of juvenile delinquency based on committing any act that constitutes sexual assault;3 and
  4. termination of the parent-child legal relationship of the offender is in the best interests of the child.4Note: The judge will automatically assume that termination is in the best interests of the child but the offender has the right to try to convince the judge otherwise.5

If you file this petition to terminate the offender’s rights, the law states that your and your child’s whereabouts must be kept confidential. In addition, the judge can grant any sort of protective measures in the courtroom if you request them - such as allowing you to not appear in court when the offender is present.6

1 C.R.S. § 19-5-105.5(3)
2 C.R.S. § 19-5-105.5(4)(a),(b)
3 C.R.S. §§ 19-5-105.5(2)(a); 19-1-103(29.3)
4 C.R.S. § 19-5-105.5(4)(c)
5 C.R.S. § 19-5-105.5(7)(c)
6 C.R.S. § 19-5-105.5(6)

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