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Stepparents’ Rights

Colorado family courts recognize the special relationships that stepparents can share with children. That’s why the law establishes options and processes for stepparents to seek visitation and custody in Colorado. From adoptions to custody cases, exercising stepparents’ rights can require going to court and, sometimes, facing off with biological parents before a family judge.

At The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC, our family lawyers know how much can be on the line in these situations, and we have a deep understanding of the unique challenges that stepparents can face in adoptions, visitation, and custody cases. Highly skilled and experienced, we are proud to be the effective, fierce advocates stepparents can rely on whenever it’s necessary to go to court to protect and assert their rights in Colorado.

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

Our Fort Collins family lawyers have vast experience representing stepmothers and stepfathers, strategically protecting their rights in simple to complex cases alike.

Stepparent Adoptions in Colorado

Adopting a child can grant stepparents the same legal rights and responsibilities that biological parents have with their natural children. That includes everything from the authority to make decisions about the child’s upbringing to the responsibility of paying child support, if needed, in the future.

While stepparent adoptions can occur during the course of a marriage, they may also happen during or after a divorce. With these cases, it’s also important to understand that the role and wishes of any biological parents who are in the picture will be a factor. Here of some examples of how biological parents could impact stepparent adoptions in Colorado:

  • When a biological parent is married to a prospective stepparent: If the noncustodial parent has not paid child support for at least a year or if that parent has effectively “abandoned” the child for at least a year, stepparents can pursue adoptions with the consent of their spouse, who is the biological parent.

  • When neither biological parent is in the picture: If both biological parents have not provided financial or physical support for a child for at least six months, stepparents who have been caring for a child during that time can pursue adoptions in Colorado.
     
  • When a biological parent contests the adoption: In these cases, it’s up to the courts to review the circumstances and arguments and, then, issue a final ruling on the matter.

With adoptions, as with other matters involving children in the family courts, serving the best interests of the children involved will be the court’s top priority.

Stepparents’ Rights to Visitation & Custody

When stepparents want to establish visitation with children, they will need to demonstrate their relationship with those children to the court. Specifically, courts tend to look at factors like, but not limited to, the following when determining whether to grant stepparent visitation in Colorado:

  • The degree to which a stepparent has acted as a biological parent for a child
  • The emotional ties between a stepparent and a child
  • The significance the stepparent plays in a child’s life
  • Whether the stepparent has provided or does provide financial support for a child
  • Whether a child would be negatively impacted by the absence of a stepparent

While obtaining custody can be more challenging for stepparents than obtaining visitation, the circumstances of a case, as well as a child’s safety and wellbeing, always take precedent. That means the court will consider and be open to granting stepparent custody whenever it’s the best way to protect a child and his or her wellbeing.

How to Protect Your Stepparent Rights in Colorado

A family lawyer at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC can explain your stepparent rights and assert them when it’s time to protect what matters most—the child(ren) you love.

The truth is that stepparents may face an uphill battle in the family courts if custodial parents are putting up a fight about visitation or if other factors are at play. With an experienced attorney from The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC in your corner, you can be confident that:

  • You are taking the right steps.
  • You will have better chances of obtaining successful resolutions.
  • You will have the counsel and support you need throughout your case.

Find out more about how we can help you by contacting our 5-star team today.

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

The Colorado family lawyers at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC are trusted, experienced advocates who work as true partners with our clients. 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 representation and tireless advocacy in the pursuit of the best possible outcomes.


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Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

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