Many family law arrangements revolve around identifying the rights and responsibilities of parents. As a result, it is often necessary to legally establish paternity before any number of family law issues can be addressed. Determining the legal paternity of a child can be much more complicated than the parents simply verbalizing who the father is, and involves adhering to strict Colorado family law guidelines and processes.
Besides or in addition to participating in genetic testing, there are several ways that legal paternity can be established in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Human Services explains that it is often necessary to establish paternity in cases where the parents of a child are not married. Beyond that, there are instances where it is necessary to determine that someone other than the mother’s husband is the biological father of a child. No matter the circumstances of the case, the parents of a child and/or the family court system can take measures to establish paternity under the law.
According to Coloradodads.com, parents can identify the biological father of a child by submitting a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form. AOP forms are typically used by unmarried parents at the time of a child’s birth in a hospital, but can also be accessed at several other facilities at a later time. Another option available to parents is to establish paternity through the child support application process. Upon filing for child support, an administrative paternity order may be issued by the relevant child support services office and effectively serves as a judicial order without actually involving the court system. In other cases, parents can pursue a judicial paternity order in the district for juvenile court systems by presenting an action before a judge or commissioner.
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