Denver Attorneys for Men in Paternity Cases
The attorneys at Sharon D. Liko, P.C., represent men in paternity cases throughout Denver and the State of Colorado. After a child is born out of wedlock, then the father or the mother of the child can petition the court for a determinate of paternity. Paternity actions 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.
If you are interested in filing a paternity action or if you were served with a petition for paternity, then call our office to schedule a consultation. We fight to protect the rights of men and fathers in paternity actions.
Resolving the Paternity Case under Colorado Law
In most cases these issues are eventually decided by the parties and the agreement is written in a parenting plan. Either a full or partial parenting plan can be signed by the parents in a paternity case. If a partial parenting plan is signed, then the remaining issues left for the court to decided. The Judge or Magistrate will review the Motion for Paternity and other documents filed in the case.
After paternity is established, the Court will enter an Order Establishing Parenting Time and Child Support, and may address other financial issues. Either the father or mother may be required to take parenting education classes by the Court as part of the paternity case. In the paternity case, either the mother or purported father can request that the Court address the following issues:
- allocation of parental responsibilities (including decision-making responsibilities and parenting time regarding the child);
- child support;
- medical support; and
- other issues in the best interests of the child.
In paternity cases, the father can either make an admission of paternity or move to disavow paternity. In many cases, the father will submit to genetic or DNA testing to confirm that the man is the biological father of the child.
The Paternity Determination under Section 19-4-105
Determining a child’s paternity in Colorado is subject to Colorado’s version of the Uniform Parentage Act (the UPA), sections 19–4–101 to –130, C.R.S.2013. Under the UPA, before paternity can be determined, each man presumed to be the father of the child under section 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. § 19–4–110, C.R.S.2013. 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.
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 in section 19–4–105(1)(e), C.R.S.2013; or
- DNA testing has been administered as provided in section 13–25–126, C.R.S.2013, 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, as provided in section 19–4–105(1)(f), C.R.S.2013.??Any presumption of paternity arising under the UPA can be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. § 19–4–105(2)(a), C.R.S.2013.
Legal actions to establish paternity can be commenced at any time prior to the child’s 18th birthday to prove a parent-child relationship.
Venue in a paternity Case
The paternity case should be filed in the county where the child or the alleged father resides or is found. If the alleged father is deceased, the case should be filed in any county in which proceedings for probate have been or could be filed.
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. 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 receives the Petition for Paternity and Summons, 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 tests. 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 is unwilling to sign the Admission of Paternity form or if requested by the mother, either party has the right to ask the Court to order genetic or DNA testing on all parties. If one of the parties will not submit to genetic testing, then the court can order the party to submit to testing.
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 the 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:
- the allocation of parental responsibilities;
- parenting time; and
- child support.
Seasoned Attorneys for Paternity Cases in Denver, Colorado
If you were served with a petition for paternity or if you are interested in filing a paternity for paternity, then contact the seasoned family law attorneys at Sharon D. Liko, P.C., to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. When it comes to issues of parenting time and child support, we help men resolve their case under the most favorable terms possible.