Determining Paternity for Child Support
Establishing paternity is important for a variety of reasons. Aside from acknowledging a child’s legal father, paternity determines responsibilities that the parents must face. A mother cannot get child support unless the identity of the father has been legally documented. Without that legal determination, child support cannot be ordered no matter what the situation is. Once paternity is established, opportunities other than child support arise, such as access to medical records and a number of government benefits.
There are various was that the state can determine paternity such as:
- Blood or other genetic tests
- Declaration of Paternity
- Whether the father acknowledges or claims fatherhood
Many times these methods must be used to confirm paternity for child support. Determining the father may not always be straightforward, as unexpected circumstances may arise. For instance, the acknowledged father may not be the same as the presumed father, who must pay child support. There are also equitable parents – those who have non-parental custody or third-party custody – who are likewise obligated to pay child support. Other complications can include an alleged father or stepfather.
Benefits of Establishing Paternity
When the father is unknown, there are very few child support options available. However, legally determining fatherhood provides many opportunities for the child including:
- A sense of belonging to a family
- The chance to bond with both the mother and father
- Child support
- Government benefits such as social security, health, and life insurance
- Access to medical records
Even if the father doesn’t currently have a job, these benefits will be available once he becomes employed. Thus, determining the father is important regardless of his current employment status. If the father happens to live in another state, the same benefits cross state lines and will give you the support that you deserve.
What Rights Do Fathers Have?
Once paternity has been legally established, fathers have their own benefits and rights as well. Fathers have the right to have a parental relationship with the child. In fact, the Court can even determine visitation and custody rights if both parents are unable to agree on their own terms. Father’s rights are another specialty of the lawyers at Mike Hulen.
The process of figuring out paternity for child support can be overwhelming. Navigating what to do afterwards is just as daunting. Fortunately, our Colorado family lawyers have years of experience settling family matters. Whether you’re in the process of genetic testing or trying to acquire child support, our trusted attorneys work to give you the best outcome possible. Determining paternity can be an emotional time, but it doesn’t have to be stressful as well. Contact our trusted Colorado family lawyers at (303) 932-8666.