When Is It Necessary To Establish Child Paternity in Court?

Parents have a right to raise and bond with their children. While it is easy to prove that the mother is the biological parent to a child, it is not as easy for fathers. Proving this paternity can become especially complex if the couple is not married. Below, we’ll explain paternity and when you need to establish child paternity in court. 

What Is Paternity

In many cases, when a married couple has a child, the hospital automatically lists the husband’s name on the birth certificate as the father. When a couple is unmarried, the father must legally establish his rights as the father. He can do this voluntarily or with DNA testing. Although signing an affidavit to freely acknowledge yourself as the father is often easiest, DNA testing proves that the child you agree to raise is yours.

Why It Matters

You and your child have a right to bond with one another. Legally establishing yourself as the father makes it easier for an attorney to advocate for your rights to child custody. Establishing yourself as the father also increases your chance of gaining full custody if the mother gives the child up for adoption or otherwise cannot care for the infant.

Best Time To Establish Paternity

Knowing when to establish child paternity in court is vital to your case. In Colorado, fathers can submit a claim to the court anytime before the child turns five. Courts will determine the father’s parental status by ordering a DNA test on the child and potential father. In some cases, courts will also allow parents to submit a case for parental rights any time before the child turns 18 years old.

How To Legally Establish Child Paternity

Family law cases can be complex, and if you need to advocate for your rights as a father, it’s best to hire an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will understand your fatherly rights and can help you compile essential paperwork for the case.

If you are not sure whether you’re the father of a child, you can request a DNA test; if the mother refuses this for her infant, you may need to hire legal assistance. Once the courts get involved, refusing a DNA test can result in Contempt of Court charges.

Contact Jones Law Firm, PC

At Jones Law Firm, PC, we firmly believe that fathers have a right to raise their children. Contact us to learn more about our family lawyers for fathers and get our team on your side. Make our team your team and protect your rights as a parent today.


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).