In cases where a parent wishes to establish paternity, it is a good idea to take care of this early on. Not only does it cement the father’s bond to his child, it gives him the legal rights he may need in to future, and it gives a child the certainty of knowing who both of his or her parents are. In addition, establishing paternity also gives the parent with primary caretaking/residential responsibility the ability to collect child support in the event of a separation.
According to the Uniform Parentage Act in Colorado, either parent can file a petition to establish paternity. When the family court is able to establish the father as the child’s biological parent, it will issue the appropriate orders pertaining to his financial responsibilities and parenting rights. In many cases, genetic testing is also required, especially when the father’s name is not on the birth certificate.
While paternity may seem like a complicated subject, it really depends on the circumstances. Of course, it is always much easier when the father steps forward and acknowledges paternity. In cases like these, the parties can voluntarily execute an Acknowledgement of Paternity, which is legally binding after 60 days. However, when a case has more complications it makes sense to consult with a Colorado Springs paternity attorney who has experience with these matters.
If you have been served with a paternity summons, or you are about to file a petition for establishing paternity in Colorado, contact Pat Marrison, a Colorado Springs family lawyer, for a consultation.