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What Are My Rights As A Father?

Courts are forbidden from favoring the mother when making child custody decisions, but unfortunately, many judges often still see the mother as the more significant influence in a child’s life. Fathers have rights too, though, and should be aware of them if they hope to be involved in their children’s lives. Those who are fighting for their parental rights in Colorado should immediately involve expert legal counsel to defend their legal rights as they seek state-approved paternity testing or fight for paternity. This is especially important when the father lacks biological ties to the child.  Know your rights as a father.

Legally-Recognized Rights

  • The right to spend time with the child. Fathers have the right to have ongoing contact with their children.
  • The right to obtain joint custody of the child. Proving paternity will allow a father to potentially obtain joint custody of the child.
  • The right to make decisions for a child. Fathers have the right to make important decisions about their child’s upbringing, including where they go to school, what type of medical care they receive, what religion they will practice, and other matters.
  • The right to prevent adoption. If a father and the child’s mother are not married, the mother may wish to give the child up for adoption. Establishing paternity can help prevent this from happening.

What is the Legal Definition of “Father” in Colorado?

According to C.R.S. § 19-4-105, a father is legally defined by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • You and the child’s mother are married before the child was born
  • You and the mother dissolved the marriage within 300 days of the birth of the child
  • You consented to be named as the father on the child’s birth certificate
  • You acknowledged paternity of the child by filing in writing with the court
  • You have been confirmed the father through a paternity test
  • You accepted the child into your home and acknowledged him or her as your natural child
  • You attempted to marry the child’s mother before the birth and the marriage was declared invalid

Paternity law can be complex, so it is important to seek counsel from an experienced family law attorney and learn your rights as a father. Modern Family Law can guide you through all of the relevant issues and help you understand your best course of action.

Posted May 18, 2016
by: MFL Team

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