(1) The general assembly hereby declares that children have certain rights in the determination of matters relating to parental responsibilities, including:
(a) The right to have such determinations based upon the best interests of the child;
(b) The right to be emotionally, mentally, and physically safe when in the care of either parent; and
(c) The right to reside in and visit in homes that are free of domestic violence and child abuse or neglect.
Source: L. 87: Entire section added, p. 574, 1, effective July 1. L. 98: Entire section amended, p. 1378, 5, effective February 1, 1999. L. 2013: Entire section amended, (HB 13-1259), ch. 218, p. 995, 1, effective July 1.
Law reviews. For article, "The Constitutionality of Colorado's Grandparent Visitation and Third-Party Standing Statutes", see 32 Colo. Law. 51 (Feb. 2003).
This section, coupled with the permissive language found throughout 14-10-123.5 and 14-10-124, indicates that the best interests of the child, and not the rights or wishes of either parent, must dictate the outcome of any custody dispute. In re Lester, 791 P.2d 1244 (Colo. App. 1990).
An award of custody to a nonparent with standing may be made upon a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that it is in the best interests of the child. In re Custody of A.D.C., 969 P.2d 708 (Colo. App. 1998).
No right to participate through chosen counsel. This section does not include a right for a child to participate in custody matters through counsel chosen by the child. In re Hartley, 886 P.2d 665 (Colo. 1994).
To protect rights of the child, the court may interview the child or appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child's interests. In re D.R.V-A, 976 P.2d 881 (Colo. App. 1999).