As part of their comprehensive family law practice in the Denver Metropolitan Area, lawyers at the Colorado law firm of Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C. handle issues of paternity (parentage) on behalf of mothers, putative fathers, children, or the state. Although a paternity action can be its own proceeding, the subject often arises in the course of divorce proceedings, when issues of child support, custody, and parenting time are being formally decided.
Colorado has adopted the Uniform Parentage Act, a comprehensive law covering all issues of parentage, inside and outside of marriage, in relation to adoption, and even when assisted reproduction is involved through an egg or sperm donor.
There are many ways to establish paternity under Colorado law, including by proof of adoption. In addition, a man is presumed to be the father in any of the following circumstances:
- if married to the mother at the time the child is born
- if the child is born within 300 days of a divorce or separation
- the couple marries after birth, and the man acknowledges paternity in writing
- the man consents to be named the father on the birth certificate
- the man accepts the child into his home and holds him or her out to the public as his child
- the results of a genetic test (DNA) establish the likelihood that the man is the father
Such a presumption can be overcome through a legal proceeding brought either to establish paternity in a different person or to disestablish paternity in the presumptive father. A proceeding may be initiated by the mother, the presumed father, the child, or the state, anytime before the child's 18th birthday, or later in some cases.
Complicated Legal Issues
Genetic testing may help with the scientific aspect of proof, but there are many legal issues to consider in establishing or challenging paternity. Establishing paternity may give the father the right to custody and visitation (parenting time) at the same time it imposes the obligation of financial support, which can be ordered retroactive to the time of the child's birth. Also, establishing paternity in one man may extinguish the legal rights of another who has been otherwise performing the role of fatherhood.
Our team of experienced attorneys includes leaders in the Denver and Colorado Bars in the area of family law with decades of experience in paternity law and other legal matters. For advice and representation establishing or challenging parentage in a divorce or paternity proceeding, contact Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C.