Fort Collins Paternity Lawyer
Parents have rights and obligations regarding their child, regardless of whether they were married at the time he or she was born. Unfortunately, too many Colorado parents do not understand the complicated laws regarding custody, visitation, and child support. Mothers and fathers may avoid exercising their rights when there are questions of paternity, and the child may suffer.
At Divorce Matters®, our Fort Collins paternity lawyers understand the challenges parents face when addressing sensitive paternity issues. We are aggressive in protecting your interests, but we take a customized, compassion approach to these highly personal cases. With more than 50 years of combined experience serving clients in Fort Collins, CO, we have the skills and knowledge to help you achieve your goals in a paternity matter.
Options to Establish Paternity in Colorado
There are certain legal presumptions regarding paternity under Colorado law, but most of these center on different types marital situations. If none of them apply, there are three routes to establish paternity.
- Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP): If the mother and father agree to the child’s parentage, they can sign a form acknowledging paternity in the presence of a witness. Often, parents will sign the VAP at the hospital upon the child’s birth, but it is also possible to visit the Office of Vital Records and Statistics or a local health department.
- Administrative Paternity Order: When a mother applies for child support in Larimer County, this initiates the administrative process for paternity. The alleged father receives a notice of proceedings, and both parties have the opportunity to present evidence of their position on parentage. The process concludes with an Administrative Paternity Order, which may include child support obligations.
- Judicial Paternity Order: Either party can file a petition to establish paternity, where proceedings will take place before the Larimer County Court. Both parties are allowed to present evidence and can retain an attorney to represent their interests. At the conclusion of the proceedings, a judge will enter a judicial paternity order that has a legal and binding effect.
A Mother’s Rights
Raising a child is expensive, so the law allows a mother to pursue a child’s father for child support. However, it is first necessary to establish paternity as mentioned above, which can be a legal hurdle where the father disputes parentage. Our lawyers can assist you with any of the paths of establishing paternity, so you can enforce the father’s child support obligations. We can also advise you on your options if the father chooses to exercise rights to visitation and custody.
Fathers Have Rights, Too
Fathers who want to have a relationship with their child and be involved with important decision-making have the right to do so. Establishing paternity is the first step to enforcing a father’s rights to custody and visitation. Our attorneys can help you understand the implications of parentage and can work with you on child support issues.
Consult with a Skilled Fort Collins, CO Paternity Lawyer
Our attorneys at Divorce Matters® represent mothers and fathers with all types of paternity cases, and we can assist you with any of the routes to establishing paternity. For more information, please call us at 720.408.7469 or visit us online. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your situation.
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Why not start exploring your options? Call us at 720.542.6142 to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced Denver divorce attorneys today.
Our highly-accomplished divorce and family law attorneys practice throughout Colorado, including: Adams County (Arvada, Aurora, Brighton, Thornton, Westminster); Arapahoe County (Aurora, Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Littleton); Boulder County; Broomfield County; Denver County; Douglas County (Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker); Elbert County (Elizabeth, Kiowa); and Jefferson County (Arvada, Golden, Lakewood, Morrison, Wheat Ridge).