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Paternity Actions

Uniform Parentage Act

Colorado law requires that mothers and fathers support their children, regardless of their marital status. The state of Colorado has adopted the Uniform Parentage Act which provides a procedure for establishing a parent-child relationship. In Colorado, a child, the child's natural mother, a man presumed to be the father, an alleged father, or another interested person may bring a paternity action under the UPA in order to establish fatherhood for the payment of child support. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Services may also bring such an action.

What are my rights as a father in Colorado?

With paternity actions, the court will typically require that both parties and the child undergo genetic testing in order to determine the percentage of probability of paternity. These genetic tests have become so sophisticated with modern technology that they can determine with about 98% or 99% accuracy if a man is a child's biological father. With paternity actions a jury trial is not allowed and the existence or non-existence of a father-child relationship will be determined by a judge.

In Colorado a man can be the "presumed" father or a "non-presumed" father under the eyes of the law. A man is "presumed" to be a child's father if he was:

  • Married to the child's mother or attempted to marry her before the child's birth.
  • He married the child's mother after the child's birth, and acknowledges that the child is his by filing a document with the court or the registrar of vital statistics, or has his name placed on the child's birth certificate, or has promised in writing to pay child support, or the court ordered that he pay child support.
  • He receives the child into his home and has openly acknowledged that the child is his natural child.
  • He has acknowledged his paternity in writing and the document has been filed with the court or the registrar of vital statistics.
  • The blood tests show that he is not excluded as the child's probable father and the probability of his parentage is 97% or greater.

Contact a Denver Divorce Attorney from Sturniolo & Associates

Both presumed and non-presumed fathers who did not want the child or who may have never seen the child still have the obligation to support the child. Furthermore, parenting time and parental responsibility for the child's residence and major decision-making decisions can by ordered in a paternity action. If the judge determines paternity, then a new birth certificate will be substituted for the original certificate. Even when a parent is presumed to be fit and proper to raise his or her child, the parent may choose to voluntarily renounce his or her parental rights and give up their child permanently through a "relinquishment" proceeding in court.

Paternity actions involve a significant amount of potential responsibility and their outcome can have life-lasting effects. Need a lawyer for a paternity case in Colorado? For further information about filing a paternity action in Colorado, contact a Denver divorce attorney from Sturniolo & Associates without delay at (303) 732-5010. Learn more from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Rights of Unmarried Fathers.

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