Nonbiological parents — those who are acting in a parenting role — play an important role in the lives of countless children. Unfortunately, many of these individuals are limited in their legal rights because they have no biological tie to the child.
At Scardina Law, we understand the importance of psychological parents in the life of a child. If you need legal help to continue playing an important role in the life of a child, please call us at 303-502-5540.
Representing Psychological Parents
A psychological parent is broadly defined as any nonbiological parental figure in the life of a child. In Colorado, a psychological parent can be anyone who exercised physical custody of a child for 182 days or more that ended within the previous 182 days. A stepparent, for example, may be considered a psychological parent if the child spent five days a week living with the stepparent over the past year.
We represent psychological parents who are seeking help with the following:
- Child custody
- Child support
If you are providing care for a child but feel limited in your legal rights because you are not the child’s biological parent, talk to one of our lawyers to find out how we can help. It is imperative that you assert your rights promptly as the time periods in which you can establish parental rights are extremely limited. We represent stepparents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and others who are playing a parental role in the life of a child to ensure that the child maintains these positive relationships when a parent makes a rash decision to cut them from the children’s lives.
We routinely represent grandparents who are looking to play an integral part in the life of a grandchild.
A grandparent can request visitation rights under limited circumstances in Colorado (C.R.S. §19-1-117), including
- When there has been a prior custody or “Parental Rights and Responsibilities” case regarding the child
- When the parents are divorced
- When someone other than a parent has been given custody; or
- When the grandparent’s child has passed away
Grandparent visitation is different from custody. While grandparents can be given custody or “parental rights and responsibilities,” this is a different process than grandparent visitation. Grandparent visitation enables a grandparent to spend a defined amount of time with the grandchildren but does not entitle the grandparent to decision-making authority or put the grandparent on equal footing with the parent. Nonetheless, it is an important tool to ensure that grandparents remain a loving presence in a child’s life. Indeed, studies show that having a consistent and loving adult in a child’s life other than their parents have real and lasting beneficial effects.