Law presumes that when a married heterosexual couple has children the husband is the father of those children. Disproving this presumption often can only be achieved through a DNA test and if this a concern for you please contact our office for a consultation. If the child does not have married parents at the time of its birth paternity can be established voluntarily, by agreement of the parents. Parents in agreement can sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity” form, and then the father’s name can be added to the child’s birth certificate.
However, the most common way to establish paternity is through a court action. Under Colorado law, any of the following persons or agencies may bring a court action to establish paternity:
- the child, through a personal representative if the child is under 18 years of age
- the child’s mother
- a man who believes he is the father or who has been identified as the father
- the Colorado Department of Human Resources
- a county department of social services, or
- a legal representative for a person who has the right to go to court to establish paternity but is deceased, incapacitated, or a minor.
The court can then order a DNA test to establish paternity, after the genetic test results establish paternity, the judge can also issue orders regarding child support (see child support section above), health insurance for the child, allocation of parental responsibilities (see other custody questions above), court costs and fees.
Establishing paternity can ensure that a child is supported financially and can maintain a relationship with his or her father. This important step in ensuring your child’s emotional and physical help can be challenging to navigate on your own. If you would like the assistance of a professional with extensive experience in family law matters please schedule a consultation with the attorneys of Smith & Shellenberger, LLC today.