Colorado Paternity Lawyers
Paternity cases involve establishing recognition of a child's biological father, usually through some form of genetic testing. Establishing the biological paternity of your children may be very important, especially as it relates to child-custody issues and child-support calculations. If a child's paternity is called into question by his or her mother, or if the alleged father denies paternity, the child’s mother may have the right to take legal action to file a paternity lawsuit to attain appropriate child-support payments.
An action for paternity is a legal determination from the court that establishes the child's biological father. In Colorado, the court presumes paternity if the parties are married when the child is born or if an individual's name appears on the birth certificate as the father. To contest or establish paternity, a parent must file a motion with the court requesting that genetic testing occur with the child or children and the alleged father.
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. The mother can list whomever she thinks the father is or wants the father to be. Paternity law may come into play when a father resents parentage and 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 legally 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. If a man believes he deserves visitation rights because he is the child's biological father, but the mother refuses, the father may file to establish paternity to prove that he should be given parenting time.
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 care, education, medical expenses, and daily living expenses. Paternity guarantees financial security for the child, along with parenting time and other legal privileges.
Paternity is significant to the child as well. Establishing paternity may be emotionally significant, especially as the child grows older. Eventually, paternity may result in workers' compensation benefits or an inheritance if the father dies.
How is Paternity Proven?
Paternity is usually proven through DNA testing. If the mother or father does not consent to DNA testing as requested by the other parent, the parent desiring the testing may file a motion with the court making this request. If the child's DNA and the father's DNA do not match, paternity is disproven. If the 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. Either party may file a paternity lawsuit to establish a child’s biological father. Feldmann Nagel, LLC is a top-rated family law firm in Denver, Boulder, Vail, and Steamboat Springs, and we understand how sensitive matters of paternity can be for all parties involved. It is our goal to help our clients find the answers they are looking for, so everyone involved establishes rights to parenting time and appropriate child support for the child. If you are seeking child support from the person you believe to be the father of your child, or if you believe you are the father and desire parenting time with your child, you may want to file a paternity action.
Contact the family law attorneys at Feldmann Nagel, LLC to discuss your case today.