Lakewood Paternity Lawyer
A study published in The Atlantic found that 57 percent of adults ages 26-31 were having their children before getting married. When children are born out of wedlock, there can be challenges determining child custody and child support. At Divorce Matters® our legal team is well-versed in what roadblocks you may face when trying to establish paternity for the purposes of child visitation, child custody, or child support. We will advise you and protect your rights throughout the process.
Why Establishing Paternity is Important
Determining paternity is important for the mother, father, and child. Raising a child as a single mother is expensive. The court may order a DNA test if the father is not willing to acknowledge he is the parent. If paternity is established then the father will be responsible for paying child support. A father may also be interested in establishing paternity because it will give him rights to pursue child custody or visitation. Finally, a child also benefits from knowing who the father is. In addition to the emotional support of knowing both parents and the financial help from child support, a child will be able to access the father’s medical history. Many illnesses are genetic and it can help to have the medical background of both parents as a child grows.
How to Establish Paternity
Once paternity is determined, the father’s name can be added to the birth certificate, child support can be ordered, and more. There are three ways to establish paternity in the state of Colorado.
- Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity – A father can voluntarily acknowledge he is the parent of a child by signing a document with the mother with a witness present. This is often done at a hospital but can also occur at the Office of Vital Records and Statistics or a local health department.
- Administrative Paternity Order – This route begins when one of the parents applies for child support. Both parents will receive a notice of proceedings. During the proceedings each parent can provide supporting documentation. DNA tests can also be requested.
- Judicial Paternity Order – A judicial paternity order is established in the courtroom where both sides can present documents to the judge. Each party is allowed to have an attorney in the proceedings.
DNA testing can be very useful for both parties. If the father is unwilling to acknowledge the child, DNA results will give evidence to the court so that child support can be ordered. On the other hand, there are instances where a mother incorrectly assumes the identity of the father. A DNA test will protect a man’s rights and keep them from paying monthly for a child that is not actually related to them. Furthermore, a knowledgeable lawyer can help protect your rights, whether you are the party trying to establish paternity or the party asserting that you are not a relative of the child.
Contact an Experienced Lakewood, CO Paternity Lawyer
Our attorneys at Divorce Matters® can help you through any of the above paths to establishing paternity. Going through the process can be overwhelming, but it is in your child’s best interests to determine the father. Contact our Lakewood office for an initial consultation today.
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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).