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Family & Divorce Law

How Is Paternity Established In The State Of Colorado?

By Tolison & Williams / March 14, 2019

Establishing paternity in Brighton means a child will have access to medical history, certain benefits and a relationship with his or her father.

Either parent of a child may take the steps to establish paternity in Brighton, Colorado. As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out, determining a child's biological father is important for the following reasons:

  • It can ensure the father has rights to spend time with and have a relationship with the child.
  • It provides a basis for child support issues.
  • It gives the child rights to life insurance, veterans' and health insurance benefits.
  • It enables the family to trace medical history.

When a child is born to two married people, the law automatically establishes paternity for the husband. When a child is born outside of marriage in Adams County, there are two basic ways that someone can establish paternity.

Voluntary acknowledgment

As the Adams County Child Support Services points out, perhaps the easiest way to ascertain the biological father of a child is through voluntary acknowledgement. This occurs when a man admits that he is the father. In order to make it official, he will have to sign a legal document that acknowledges paternity.

In many cases, this is done at the hospital when the child is born. However, the form can also be signed at the Office of Vital Records and Statistics or any local health department.

Legal establishment

There are two circumstances in which there may be cause for establishing paternity through taking legal means. One situation is when the mother is unsure of who the father of the child is. The other situation is when the man who is alleged to be the father denies paternity.

There could be either an administrative paternity order issued or a judicial paternity order issued, depending on whether or not the family decides to go through the court system. In both instances, genetic testing will be ordered and perform.

Genetic testing

The American Pregnancy Association points out that there are several types of paternity tests, including a non-invasive method that can take place even before a baby is born. DNA tests can happen as early as the end of the first trimester. Studies show that these tests are upward of 90 to 99 percent accurate.

If the child has already been born, most genetic tests require simply a cotton swab inside the child's cheek and the alleged father's cheek. The swabs will be sent to a lab to analyze the DNA and determine paternity. These tests are the most accurate type of paternity testing, compared to blood tests, which typically just establish the possibility of fatherhood.

Establishing paternity in Brighton can ensure that a family knows how to move forward with certain legal issues. Anyone with questions about this issue should consult with a family law attorney.

Tags: Family Law

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