What are Your Parental Rights

Parental rights in Colorado refer to the rights and protections granted to parents by the state’s constitution in matters concerning the upbringing, care, and education of their children. These rights are considered fundamental and are protected by the Colorado Constitution, as well as the United States Constitution.

While this is a general overview, please note that specific legal interpretations and court decisions may impact the application of parental rights in certain cases. It’s always advisable to consult with a legal professional for personalized and up-to-date information.


In Colorado, parental rights are primarily protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the state from depriving individuals of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The Colorado Constitution further reinforces these rights.

Here are some key aspects of constitutional parental rights in Colorado:

Fundamental Right:

Parental rights are considered fundamental, meaning they receive a high level of legal protection. This recognition ensures that parents have a fundamental interest in making decisions related to the care, custody, and control of their children.

Parental Authority:

Parents generally have the authority to make decisions regarding their children’s education, religious upbringing, medical care, and general welfare, unless there are compelling reasons to limit or override these decisions in the best interests of the child.

Custody and Visitation:

Colorado recognizes the rights of parents to seek custody of their children in cases of divorce, separation, or other disputes. The court generally aims to make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child, taking into account factors such as the child’s welfare, parental involvement, and the child’s relationship with each parent.

Education Choices:

Parents have the right to make decisions regarding their children’s education, including the choice of public, private, or homeschooling. However, certain regulations and requirements may apply to ensure the child receives an adequate education.

Medical Decisions:

Parents have the authority to make medical decisions for their children, including decisions about medical treatments, vaccinations, and other healthcare matters. However, in cases where there are concerns about a child’s health or welfare, the court may intervene to protect the child’s well-being.

Parental Consent:

Parents generally have the right to provide or withhold consent for various activities involving their children, such as participation in extracurricular activities, employment, and legal matters. However, specific laws and regulations may impose limitations or requirements for certain activities.

It’s important to note that parental rights are not absolute and may be subject to limitations or restrictions in certain circumstances. For example, if a court determines that a child is at risk of harm or neglect, it may intervene to protect the child’s best interests.

Legal cases and individual circumstances can affect the interpretation and application of parental rights. Therefore, if you require specific legal advice or information, it’s recommended to consult with an attorney specializing in family law or parental rights in Colorado.

Colorado Specifically

In Colorado, parental rights refer to the legal rights and responsibilities that parents have regarding their children. These rights are established and protected by both state and federal laws. Here are some key aspects of parental rights in Colorado:

Legal Custody:

Legal custody refers to the right of a parent to make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Colorado recognizes two types of legal custody:

  1. Sole Legal Custody:

In this arrangement, one parent has the sole authority to make major decisions for the child, while the other parent may have visitation rights.

  1. Joint Legal Custody:

With joint legal custody, both parents share the responsibility of making important decisions for the child’s welfare. It requires effective communication and cooperation between parents.

Physical Custody:

Physical custody determines where the child lives on a day-to-day basis. Colorado recognizes two types of physical custody:

  1. Sole Physical Custody:

In this arrangement, the child primarily resides with one parent, while the other parent may have visitation or parenting time rights.

  1. Joint Physical Custody:

Joint physical custody means the child spends substantial time with both parents, and they share physical custody.

Visitation and Parenting Time:

Noncustodial parents have the right to visitation or parenting time with their child, even if they don’t have physical custody. Parenting time schedules can be determined by mutual agreement or court order, prioritizing the child’s best interests.

Child Support:

Both parents have a legal obligation to support their child financially. Colorado has specific guidelines for calculating child support, taking into account factors such as each parent’s income, the number of children, and healthcare costs.

Modification of Custody and Support Orders:

Parents can request modifications to custody or child support orders if there are significant changes in circumstances or if it is in the child’s best interests. However, such modifications generally require court approval.

Termination of Parental Rights:

In extreme cases of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, a court may terminate a parent’s rights. This is a serious legal action and typically requires evidence of significant harm or risk to the child.

It’s important to note that this is a general overview, and specific laws and procedures may vary. If you have questions about your particular situation or need legal advice, it’s recommended to consult with a family law attorney in Colorado.

If you are in need of legal assistance please contact us

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