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Teenage Pregnancy and Child Support – What You Need to Know

Thursday, 21 July 2011

blog-logoIt’s interesting how quickly an unplanned pregnancy can change the lives of teenagers, as well as the lives of their parents, but if a girl decides to keep the baby there is another aspect to consider in a teenage pregnancy – child support.  Teenagers are some of the least informed citizens when it comes to family law, and rightly so, but it doesn’t take long for legal issues to come up. 

As someone who deals with child support in family law cases frequently, I’ve always wondered why there isn’t a campaign directed at teenage boys that reminds them about these issues.  What a great deterrent that would be for teenage pregnancy – a poster in a boys locker room about child support.  Not just that it exists, but that he will be legally obligated to pay it for at least 18 years  This is one area that most guys don’t consider, but it is not something that should be taken lightly.  Even if parents are never married and live separately, they are still legally responsible to support their child. 

In cases of teenage pregnancy, the court will often order a paternity test to be certain that the young man in question is truly the child’s biological father.  Once the paternity of a child is established, the father must provide financial support for the child regardless of how much time he spends in a parenting role.  For a promising young high school or college student, this can be harsh reality, but it is also a hardship for the mother. 

Oftentimes, parents of a teenage girl who gets pregnant will want to avoid the legalities of seeking child support from the father, but they may later regret this decision.  The law in Colorado clearly states that both the father and mother of a minor child share the responsibility of support equally, and bear the obligation to support their child in a manner that is suitable to the child’s circumstances.  However, if the parent of the child is not receiving any type of government support, such as welfare, they are free to make decisions about child support on their own.  This may mean the parents agree to a specific amount initially, with the agreement that it will gradually increase over time.

If you have questions about teenage pregnancy and child support in Colorado, don’t attempt to push it under the rug.  This matter should be dealt with as soon as the child is born and handled by a Colorado Springs family lawyer.

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