Fighting To Establish Or Dispute Paternity
In the past, paternity cases were typically filed by unmarried mothers seeking child support payments. Today, these cases are just as likely to be filed by fathers who want to have a relationship with their children after the mothers have cut off visits.
At The Offices of Keane Law, LLC, in Boulder we can advise you about your rights and responsibilities as a parent. Our lawyers represent both mothers and fathers in cases where there has been a dispute over paternity, child support, custody or visitation. We offer a free 30-minute consultation to answer your questions.
Establishing Paternity In Colorado
If both parties agree who the father of the child is, the court will accept paternity and move on to issues such as child support and allocat/child-custody/allocation-of-parental-responsibilities/ion of parental responsibilities. If the parents do not agree, the court can order a DNA test to establish paternity.
A DNA test can also be used to disestablish paternity. If you think that you are not the biological father of a child you are supporting, it’s important to act promptly. If you don’t move to disestablish paternity in five years, you are likely to be presumed to be the father of the child.
Parental Responsibilities For Unmarried Parents
Parental responsibilities include decision-making authority for issues such as education, medical care and religious upbringing. Ideally, both parents should have input into major decisions affecting their children, such as education, religion and non-emergency medical procedures. Also ideally, each parent should also have significant parenting time with children absent issues such as abuse, neglect or child endangerment.
Parents must try to resolve their disagreements regarding where the child should live, how much parenting time each parent should have, whether there should be joint or sole decision-making, and any other issues that exist. If the parents cannot agree on one or more of the issues — even after they attend mediation — then the court will hold a trial and a judge will resolve all the outstanding issues.