Parental Rights in Colorado
Colorado Parental Rights News
Colorado State Law and Parental Rights
Although the legislature made a legislative declaration in 2003 that states that parental rights are fundamental, it is not a legally binding section of law and will not protect parental rights as fundamental in most instances.
Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-22-107(1)(a)(III):
(1)(a) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares it is the public policy of this state that: . . . (III) Parents have a fundamental right and responsibility to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. The law has long presumed that parents act in the best interest of their children. . . .
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Colorado Courts and Parental Rights
Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-22-107(1)(a)(III) expressly declares parental rights "fundamental," which may lead to strict scrutiny protection the next time the issue comes up in the courts.
- In re Reese, 227 P.3d 900, 902-3 (Colo. Ct. App. 2010) the Colorado Court of Appeals adopted a "rebuttable presumption" in favor of parental visitation determinations, which can be rebutted by "clear and convincing evidence that the parent is unfit or that the parent's visitation determination is not in the best interests of the child," id. at 903; the rebuttable presumption is employed because Troxel did not "state how the presumption affects the proof process or how courts must accord special weight to it," id. at 902.