Father’s Rights & Responsibilities: What You Need To Know

A father plays an important role in their child’s life, but society often looks to the mother first for child-rearing. This can become problematic during child custody cases as both parties decide on splitting parental duty. If they don’t agree, it can lead to court proceedings. In the court of law, the child’s well-being always comes first. Delve into what you need to know about your fatherly rights and responsibilities. 

Custody and Visitation

Depending on your relationship with your child, you may have a right to custody or visitation. Keep in mind that neither of these is promised to an individual, as they heavily depend on what the judge deems is best for the child to thrive. You are more likely to have custody rights or visitation if you have a strong, healthy relationship with your child.

Colorado courts no longer favor the mother without specific reasoning. As the father, this means you have an equal right to care for your child. Likewise, if you have primary custody of the child, the other parent may have to pay you for child support.

What Is Custody?

Having custody doesn’t always mean you’re the primary caregiver. Sometimes, both parties have 50/50 custody of the child. Colorado prefers this type of custody whenever possible, as it allows the child to bond with both parents.

Gaining Fatherly Rights

A mother has parental rights over her child starting at the infant’s birth. If you’re married, it’s presumed you’re the father, but if you’re an unwed couple, you must legally establish custody. You can receive paternal rights by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form with the mother.

Whether you’re married or not, you can get a DNA test if you or the mother believes you’re not the father. If she disputes this proposal, you can get a court order for the DNA test. Do this before signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity so you’re not legally responsible for the child until knowing they’re yours.

Pro Tip

A key thing you need to know about your fatherly rights and responsibilities is that legally establishing yourself as the father is critical. Doing this ensures you can petition for custody or visitation of the child if you and your partner split up.

Hire a Lawyer

If you plan to file for a divorce or have questions about your paternal rights, talk with a Colorado family law attorney. These lawyers specialize in cases like this and can help you gain custody or visitation rights if it’s in the child’s best interest.

At Jones Law Firm, you can hire one of our family lawyers for fathers to protect your parental rights. We stand behind our clients in every case and think of strategic plans to protect the father and child. When you hire one of us, our whole team supports you.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice in multiple states including April D. Jones in California, Patrick G. Barkman in Texas, the Cherokee Nation, the Northern District of Texas, and the District of Colorado (United States Court of Appeals 10th and 5th Circuit).