Paternity is the legal identification of the biological father of a child. Paternity matters generally arise in cases where the parents are not married, but also may be an issue in Colorado divorce cases, legal separation or custody (allocation of parental responsibilities) cases. Even if the parents agree on paternity and the father is listed on the birth certificate, legal paternity should be established by the Court in cases where the parents are not married. Once paternity is determined, father will obtain legal rights and responsibilities for his child.
When parties are married, the law assumes that they are parents of children born during the marriage. However, either party can request that parentage be examined in the event that there is a question or uncertainty about parentage.
Colorado law authorizes the DNA testing in cases where parentage is disputed. The mother, alleged father and child will be required to submit to DNA testing. DNA testing is a laboratory test which identifies genetic material that a child inherited from his or her biological parents. The genetic indicators are compared with the parents DNA to calculate the probability that the alleged father is the actual biological father of a child. DNA testing is usually considered highly reliable in establishing paternity with generally a 99% accuracy rate.
While in Colorado the parties can voluntarily execute a joint acknowledgement of paternity which is legally binding, in many cases it may be good idea to perform DNA testing in order to alleviate any doubt or uncertainty about parentage.
Several factors may make the determination of paternity significant including:
Father has the right to request custody or primary residential care of the child or alternatively, specific parenting time with the child;
Father is financially responsible for his child; and
The child acquires various rights including rights to inheritance, Social Security benefits in the event of father’s disability or death, and right to sue for father’s wrongful death.
Should you be seek to establish parentage (paternity) or if you have been served in a case involving paternity or wish to establish the existence or non-existence of paternity, contact Gary Gottesfeld, an experienced Colorado paternity attorney. The laws that apply to paternity actions and paternity testing are complex. He can help guide you through the complicated legal process to obtain the help you need in your case.
Contact Gary Gottesfeld today to discuss your paternity issues. A free consultation is offered to all new clients. Mr. Gottesfeld can be reached at 303-892-7000 or via email below to schedule an appointment.