How can I resolve a paternity dispute?

Establishing who the father of a child is an important part of legal cases involving child support or custody rights. An alleged father may deny paternity of a child, or the mother of a child could dispute the paternity. Either situation may call for legal action to resolve the disagreement.

In the state of Colorado, a child or parents can file a paternity suit in court to determine the biological father of the child. Based on the results of the suit, the court uses the information to determine child support obligations or to establish parenting time.

Proving or contesting paternity

If a child’s birth certificate designates an individual as the father, the Colorado court system presumes this is true. The courts also assume paternity if the child is born to a married couple. To prove paternity or to contest it, an individual should file a motion in court to request genetic testing of the alleged father and the child or children in question.

DNA testing resolves these questions, but it is possible that the mother or alleged father will not willingly consent to such testing. If this is the case, filing another motion in court can legally require cooperation from the unwilling individual.

Dealing with the results of a paternity test

Should the DNA test show that the alleged father’s DNA does not match the child in question, it invalidates paternity claims. However, a DNA match between the samples legally establishes who the father is and moves legal processes forward.

The outcome of custody and child support cases can have significant financial and emotional implications for all involved. Parents with paternity questions can bring a case anytime before the child’s 18th birthday.