Colorado Paternity Lawyer
Family Lawyer in Colorado
On the most basic level, paternity cases involve establishing recognition of a child's biological father. This is usually accomplished through some form of genetic testing. If you are in the middle of a divorce, establishing the biological paternity of your children may be very important – especially relating to child custody issues and child support calculations. If a child's paternity is called into question by his/her mother, or the alleged father denies paternity, the mother may have the right to take legal action and file a paternity lawsuit to attain appropriate child support payment.
During divorce proceedings involving children, the paternity of the children may become an important question in determining custody and
child support. In certain cases, an action for paternity may be sought from the courts. An action for paternity is a legal determination from the court to establish who the child's biological father is. In Colorado, there is a presumption of paternity if the parties are married or if an individual's name appears on the birth certificate. To contest or establish paternity, a motion is filed with the court requesting that genetic testing occur with the child or children and the alleged father. Actions for paternity are often important for establishing child support.
Why is it important to establish paternity?
Establishing paternity is legally significant for a variety of reasons. Any child born to a married couple is legally legitimate. When the baby is born, the father's name will be printed on the child's birth certificate. However, the father does not have to sign the birth certificate for his name to appear on it. What does this mean? The mother can list whoever she thinks the father is or wants the father to be. Paternity law may come into play when a father resents parentage – when he does not want to be held accountable for expenses related to the child.
Conversely, if a man wants to be acknowledged as the legitimate father of a child, paternity law allows him to legal establish himself as a parent. If a child is born to unmarried parents, the mother is not allowed to give the child up for adoption until the father gives his consent. In this situation, paternity must be established so that the correct man is acknowledged as the child's father and the child is put up for adoption legally. Paternity laws are not only for the father; the child's mother may wish to establish paternity, too.
If a child is born out of wedlock, the mother may wish to collect child support to help pay for the child's day care, education, medical expenses and daily living expenses. Paternity guarantees financial security for the baby, along with legal custody, visitation rights and other legal privileges. Paternity is significant to the child as well. Establishing paternity may be emotionally significant to the child, especially as he/she grows older. Eventually, paternity may result in workers' compensation benefits and an inheritance if the father dies.
How is paternity proven?
Paternity is usually proven through DNA testing. During the middle half of the 1900s, paternity was established through blood tests, even though blood types cannot entirely prove who the father of a specific child is. Now, paternity can be almost proven absolutely by examining the father and child's DNA. When a child is born, it inherits half of its DNA from its mother and half of its DNA from the biological father. In short, if the child's DNA and the father's DNA do not match, paternity is disproven. If DNA samples match, then paternity may be legally established.
Who can file a paternity suit in Colorado?
Paternity suits can be filed by the mother, father or child. If there is disagreement between the parents, either party may file a paternity lawsuit to establish the biological father of a child. The vast majority of paternity suits are filed for financial or ethical reasons. For instance, a mother may believe that she is entitled to child support. If the alleged father refuses to give support and denies that he is the child's father, a lawsuit may be appropriate. Similarly, if a man believes that he deserves visitation rights because he is the child's biological father but the mother refuses, the father may file a suit to prove that he should be allowed visitation rights.
Feldmann Nagel, LLC is a top-rated family law firm in Vail, Steamboat Spring and Denver. We understand how sensitive matters of paternity can be for all parties involved, especially the children. It is our goal to help our clients find the answers they are looking for so that everyone involved in paying the proper amount of child support. If you are involved in a divorce proceeding with children, or if you are trying to seek child support from the person you believe to be the father of your child, you may want to seek a paternity action to determine if you are not being paid the money you are owed.