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Legal Guardianship in Colorado

Guardians manage the personal affairs of minors and vulnerable adults, who are referred to as wards or protected persons. Appointed by the courts, legal guardians have the responsibility of ensuring that wards are taken care of. From food and shelter to medical care, education, and more, a legal guardianship in Colorado can come with several duties and limitations.

At The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC, our family lawyers have vast experience with guardianship cases. We represent protected individuals, legal guardians, and other interested parties, helping them assert their rights and successfully navigate the process. Whether you are preparing for a guardianship case or it’s time to modify or terminate an existing guardianship in Colorado, you can rely on The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC for exceptional advocacy while we strive to achieve efficient, favorable resolutions.

Call (970) 488-1887 or email our firm for a 100% confidential consultation. Phone and Skype consultations are available.

Who Needs a Guardianship in Colorado?

A guardianship can be put into effect for minors and adults under difficult circumstances. Guardianships for minors are typically enacted when one or both parents pass away. In some cases, this means that requests for minor guardianships may be detailed in a will. If the child is 12 or older, (s)he has the right to agree to or refuse the guardian named in a will. When a child exercises his or her right of refusal, the court will typically appoint a different guardian.

Other circumstances under which Colorado courts will name guardians for minors can include (and are not limited to):

  • Imprisonment of parents
  • Child neglect or abuse by the parents
  • Severe illness or addiction issues
  • Military deployment of the parents

For adults, guardianships are generally enacted when an adult is:

  • Disabled, with mental and/or physical disabilities that impair the ability to take care of oneself
  • Incapacitated, meaning the adult is unable to communicate or carry out his or her wishes regarding self-care and medical care

The Colorado courts will require proof of disability or incapacity when there is a request to enact guardianships for adults.

What Are the Different Types of Legal Guardianships in Colorado?

Guardianships in Colorado can differ, based on the conditions under which they are enacted and the duration of the legal relationship. The three different types of guardianships in Colorado include:

  1. Emergency guardianships: In effect for 60 days or less, emergency guardianships are intended for situations when a minor or vulnerable adult has no one to manage their personal affairs and delaying the appointment of a guardian could result in harm to the minor or adult. In these guardianships, the court is not required to notify the interested parties of the guardianship.

  2. Temporary guardianships: In effect for 6 months or less, temporary guardianships are often used when a current guardian needs to be replaced because (s)he is not promoting the ward’s best interests. In these situations, the courts will name a temporary guardian.

  3. Longer-term guardianships: Lasting longer than 6 months, these guardianships are typically designed to give the ward as much independence as possible without compromising the ward’s safety and wellbeing. The court can restrict a guardian’s authority, as much as it sees fit, and it can order guardians to help wards develop the skills they need to be more independent.

How Long Do Guardianships in Colorado Last?

The duration of a guardianship will depend on several factors, including the age and health of the ward. In general, guardianships for minors come to an end when minors turn 18. For vulnerable or incapacitated adults, guardianships can last until death or until the court terminates the legal relationship.

Here, it’s also important to note that:

  • A ward can petition the court to end a guardianship: In these cases, the ward will need to prove why that (s)he no longer needs a guardian.
  • A guardian can make a request to be removed from a case: If the ward still needs a guardian, a successor guardian will be named by the court.
  • Other parties can request the termination of a guardianship: This can include other “interested parties” like relatives.

How Can I Get Help with a Guardianship Case in Colorado?

Contact a 5-star family lawyer at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC. We are ready to explain your rights and options.

The truth is that Colorado guardianship cases can get complicated—and that you may only have one chance to present your case. Make sure you’re prepared with the right strategies, a persuasive case, and top-notch representation. Make sure you have our Colorado family lawyers on your side.

Call (970) 488-1887 or email our firm for a 100% confidential consultation.

As skilled advocates who are dedicated to putting clients first, we are proud to work as true partners with our clients in all types of guardianship and family law cases. We have a reputation for excellence and top-quality representation, and we are known for providing personal attention and strategic, practical solutions tailored to each client’s unique circumstances. Plus, whenever it’s time to fight for you in court, you can count on us for tough, tireless representation in the pursuit of the best possible outcomes.


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