Representing Men in Paternity Cases
The attorneys at Sharon D. Liko, P.C., represent men in paternity cases throughout the Denver metro area and the State of Colorado. If a child is born to unmarried parents, if parentage is questioned, either the father or the mother of the child can petition the court to establish paternity. Paternity actions can also arise when a child is born during a marriage but the child’s biological father is not the same person as the mother’s husband.
Overview of Parental Responsibility and Paternity
- Determination of Paternity pursuant to C.R.S. §19-4-101, et seq.
- The Paternity Determination under C.R.S. §19-4-105
- Resolving the Paternity Case under Colorado Law
- The Uniform Parentage Act’s Presumption of Fatherhood
- Venue in a Paternity Case
- Automatic Temporary Injunction in Paternity Cases
- Admission of Paternity
- Court-Approved Genetic Testing
- Motion for Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem
Determination of Paternity pursuant to C.R.S. §19-4-101, et seq.
If paternity is disputed, either party can file a Petition to Establish the Parent and Child Relationship pursuant to the Uniform Parentage Act.
If you are interested in filing a Paternity action or if you were served with a Petition to Establish the Parent and Child Relationship, call our office to schedule a consultation. We fight to protect the rights of men and fathers in paternity actions.
The Paternity Determination under C.R.S. §19-4-105
Determining a child’s paternity in Colorado is subject to Colorado’s version of the Uniform Parentage Act (“UPA”), codified at C.R.S. §19–4–101 to –130. Under the UPA, before paternity can be determined, each man presumed to be the father of the child pursuant to C.R.S. §19–4–105, and each man claiming to be the natural father must be made a party to the paternity action.
The men must be given notice of the action and an opportunity to be heard. C.R.S. § 19–4–110. If the court fails to notify all presumed fathers and any alleged natural father of the child then the court is essentially deprived of subject matter jurisdiction to determine paternity.
Resolving the Paternity Case under Colorado Law
In paternity cases, the purported father can either make an admission of paternity or move to disavow paternity. In those cases, pursuant to C.R.S. §13-25-126, the court can order the mother, purported father and child to submit to genetic or DNA testing to confirm that the man is the biological father of the child.
After paternity is established, either party may request that the Court address the following issues:
- allocation of parental responsibilities (including decision-making responsibilities and parenting time regarding the child);
- child support;
- health insurance;
- income tax dependency exemption; and
- other issues in the best interests of the child.
The Uniform Parentage Act’s Presumption of Fatherhood
Under the UPA, a presumption of fatherhood may arise in one of the following ways:
- A man acknowledges his paternity of the child in a writing filed with the court or registrar of vital statistics, as provided under C.R.S. §19–4–105(1)(e); or
- DNA testing has been administered pursuant to C.R.S. §13–25–126, and the results show that the alleged father is not excluded as the probable father and that the probability of his parentage is ninety-seven percent (97%) or higher. C.R.S. §19-4-405 (1) (f).
- Any presumption of paternity arising under the UPA can be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. C.R.S. § 19–4–105(2) (a).
An important aspect of the Uniform Parentage Act is the provision pursuant to C.R.S. §19-4-105.5(3) which permits the filing of a paternity action PRIOR to the birth of the child. Legal actions to establish paternity can be commenced at any time prior to the child’s 18th birthday by the mother or the father of said child. However, the child may bring a paternity action at any time prior to the child’s 21st birthday.
Venue in a Paternity Case
The paternity case should be filed in the county where the child or the alleged father resides.
Automatic Temporary Injunction in Paternity Cases
Upon service of the Summons and Petition to Establish Paternity or upon the signing of a Waiver and Acceptance of Service by the Respondent, an automatic temporary injunction will be in effect which prohibits either party from removing the child from the state of Colorado absent consent of the other party or a court order. The temporary injunction will be in effect for four months after its effective date unless all parties consent to a modification of the temporary injunction. Additionally, the judge can modify the time the temporary injunction is in place.
When the paternity action is filed, the petitioner must disclose any restraining/protection or emergency orders entered by a Court against either party within 90 days prior to the filing of a paternity case.
Admission of Paternity
After the Respondent is served with the Summons and Petition to Establish a Parent and Child Relationship, the alleged father can either admit to being the biological father of the child or children or request genetic or DNA testing. By admitting paternity, the alleged father gives up the right to genetic testing. To admit paternity, the alleged father must complete, sign, notarize, and file the Admission of Paternity form (JDF 1504).
Court-Approved Genetic Testing
If the alleged father disputes paternity or if paternity is disputed by the mother, either party has the right to ask the Court to order genetic or DNA testing on all parties pursuant to C.R.S. §13-25-126(1)(a)(I). If one of the parties refuses to submit to genetic testing, then the court may resolve the question of parentage against that party.
Motion for Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem
In a paternity action, the judge has the authority to appoint an attorney for the minor child or children. The attorney for the minor child or children is known as a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”). The GAL does not represent either the father or the mother, although the GAL will probably talk with both parents.
The father or mother might also be responsible for paying for the GAL. The GAL is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the child or children and make certain recommendations to the Court. Those recommendations can involve the following issues:
- allocation of decision making; and
- parenting time.
Seasoned Attorneys for Paternity Cases in Denver, Colorado
If you were served with a Petition to Establish the Parent and Child Relationship, or if you are interested in establishing paternity, contact the seasoned family law attorneys at Sharon D. Liko, P.C., to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. represents clients across Colorado and the Denver area, including Douglas County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County and the communities of Littleton, Englewood, Centennial, Castle Rock, Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Lakewood, Golden and Arvada. When it comes to issues of parenting time, decision making, and child support, we help men resolve their case under the most favorable terms possible.