Colorado Paternity Law Is Complex – Let Us Help

Paternity can be critical in determining parental rights, responsibilities, and support obligations. For men, a paternity test can be the difference between being a part of their child’s life and forever being left on the outside looking in. Alternatively, it may prove definitively that you are not a child’s father, releasing you from the legal responsibility of child support. For mothers raising a child alone, paternity laws can help ensure that their child’s father meets his legal obligations and helps with care and financial support.

Colorado Springs family law attorney Andrew Bryant understands how necessary determining paternity can be for parents and the child’s well-being. He has handled countless family legal situations involving paternity questions and knows how emotionally fraught these cases can be. Moreover, he clearly understands how to help families navigate these murky legal waters and will fight to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

A Family Law Attorney Who Knows How Paternity Works in Colorado Springs

In our state, paternity is primarily governed by the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), which provides guidelines for determining parentage, parental rights, and obligations. The UPA establishes the legal framework for establishing paternity through various means, including voluntary acknowledgment, genetic testing, and court orders. If you or your partner – or former partner – are attempting to determine paternity for a child, you will be working with the UPA.

How do the three means for establishing legal paternity break down?

Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is a standard method in which both parents sign a legal document affirming the paternity of a child. This voluntary acknowledgment is typically executed during the child’s birth or thereafter. Once signed, it has the same legal effect as a court order establishing paternity.

To say this even more simply, voluntary acknowledgment is where the mother and a man purporting to be a child’s father both sign a paper stating that the man is, in fact, the father. If both parties agree and sign, this is the only “proof” of paternity needed.

In situations without voluntary acknowledgment, genetic testing can be utilized to establish paternity. In Colorado Springs, genetic testing is often ordered by the court when paternity is disputed. The results of such testing are admissible as evidence and can play a decisive role in determining paternity.

Court proceedings may also be initiated to establish paternity if the parties are unable to reach an agreement through voluntary acknowledgment or genetic testing. In such cases, the court considers various factors, including testimony, evidence, and the child’s best interests, in rendering a decision.

Proving Paternity Can Assist Colorado Mothers in Obtaining Needed Child Support

For Colorado mothers, the point of proving paternity is often to receive help from the father in raising their child. Generally speaking, this means using the law to ensure the father pays the required child support.

How Does Child Support Work Once Paternity Is Proven?

Once paternity is established, the court may order the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. Child support obligations are determined based on various factors, including the income of both parents, the child’s needs, and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the parents had remained together.

In Colorado, child support guidelines are established by statute. They are calculated based on the Income Shares Model, which considers the combined income of both parents and the number of children involved. The court can deviate from the guidelines based on specific circumstances, such as the child’s needs or the parent’s financial resources.

Of course, a requirement to pay child support may not be the only outcome. Once a man has been legally named a child’s father, he gains certain rights, such as seeking visitation or custody.

Suppose you are a mother looking to prove your child’s paternity. In that case, it is essential that you understand all the potential factors involved—both in proving paternity and what might result if paternity is established. Andrew Bryant Law knows the ins and outs of Colorado paternity law and will ensure you are well-informed before acting.

We Help Men in Colorado with Paternity Concerns

For Colorado Springs men, paternity can be complicated. Some men may be actively seeking paternity for a child they believe to be theirs. They actively want to be a part of their child’s life and understand that establishing paternity gives them the best chance – legally speaking – of making that happen.

Alternatively, some men may not believe that the child of a former partner is theirs and wish to battle any accusations against them. And finally, some men may be surprised that a paternity claim is being made at all. If you receive a claim out of the blue, it is natural to feel confused, resistant, and unsure about how to proceed.

Mr. Bryant has dealt with men in each of these situations, and he understands the complex feelings and desires that can be involved. Even in a situation where a man may want to establish paternity so that he can gain the right to seek custody or visitation with his child, this is complicated by the fact that confirming paternity could obligate him to provide financial support, including child support and paying for medical expenses. Meeting these obligations can be tricky – even for the most well-intentioned fathers.

How Does Visitation and Custody Work After Paternity Is Established?

In determining custody arrangements, the court considers the best interests of the child, considering factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

In cases where parents cannot agree on custody arrangements, the court may intervene and issue a custody order outlining each parent’s rights and responsibilities. Custody orders may designate one parent as the primary custodial parent with whom the child primarily resides, while the other parent may be granted visitation rights.

What About the Child?

Of course, there are benefits the child can gain after paternity is established. Beyond the massive advantage of developing a relationship with both of their biological parents, they may also be granted access to medical insurance inheritance rights and even become eligible for government benefits such as Social Security and veterans’ benefits.

Whether You Are Seeking Paternity in Colorado Springs or Fighting It, Andrew Bryant Can Help

Depending on several factors, paternity cases can be exciting or scary – or sometimes a bit of both. Whether you are attempting to establish paternity or trying to prove that you are not a child’s father, your best course of action is to seek out the assistance of a family lawyer in Colorado Springs with experience in this area of the law.

The Law Office of Andrew Bryant has successfully handled paternity cases for both men and women. We know what it takes to build a strong case for you and ensure your rights are always protected. Get started with us today by reaching out for a free consultation.