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Centennial Fathers’ Rights Lawyer
Have your rights as a father been jeopardized?
The traditional concept of the family has undergone massive changes in recent decades, with data from the US Census Bureau being a key source of information on the evolving demographics. In a report on custodial parents and child support income, statistics indicate that 13.4 million parents are living with 22.1 million children in custodial arrangements while the other parent resides elsewhere. Representing just 17 percent of all custodial parents, fathers are more likely to be paying child support. However, the US Census Bureau’s report also reveals a disturbing trend: Many fathers are upholding their obligations to pay child support without being able to exercise their parental rights.
Fortunately, Colorado law protects your interests as a father. If you are involved in a dispute regarding custody, care, or support, it is in your best interests to retain skilled legal representation to assist with your case. Our team at the Jones Law Firm, PC is ready to help, so please contact our office to set up a no-cost consultation with a Centennial fathers’ rights lawyer. Some basic information may also be helpful.
How Fathers’ Rights Arise Under Colorado Law
In general, your rights as a father arise through the establishment of paternity, the status of being the legal father of a child. Paternity typically comes up when parents are not married, since the laws presume the parentage of a child born to a married couple. Still, this is a rebuttable presumption that can be overcome with evidence to the contrary. Once paternity becomes a legal issue, there are two ways of resolving it:
- Agreement: When both parents agree on the identity of the child’s father, they can execute a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). At this point, your name can be added to the birth certificate as the father. Once 60 days pass after signing it, the VAP cannot be rescinded or revoked without court action. Note that the VAP does NOT establish child custody, visitation, or support.
- Paternity Court Case: If either parent refuses to sign the VAP, legal action is necessary to bring the issue of paternity before the court. As the “putative” father, i.e., a person who believes he is the father, you can file a Petition for Paternity in court. The proceedings are similar to a trial in the sense that you can present evidence and testimony regarding parentage. However, the key in a paternity case will usually be genetic testing.
You should be aware of a third scenario in which paternity questions may arise: An administrative paternity order, which may result when the child’s other parent applies for child support services through state social agencies. This order does not have the same legal impact as a judicial determination of parentage, however.
The Colorado Courts Will:
Act in a way that they consider to be in the best interests of the children involved
Examine who previously was the primary caregiver
Examine who is more emotionally and financially stable
Implications for Child Custody, Visitation, and Support
Once parentage is officially established through marriage, a VAP, or judicial paternity order, all the rights, and responsibilities of parenthood attach. Colorado law recognizes you as the father, so you are entitled to participate in the child’s life AND to support him or her financially. Specifically:
- Fathers’ Rights to Child Custody: Colorado uses the term parental responsibilities to refer to the traditional concept of custody, but the basics are similar. You have the right to make important decisions regarding how the child is raised, such as in the areas of education, religion, extracurricular activities, travel, entertainment, and others. The laws favor an arrangement where both parents have equal say in parental responsibilities, though the child may primarily reside with one for practical purposes.
- Visitation: If you are not the primary residential parent, you will be entitled to parenting time, the term Colorado statutes use to describe visitation. The court’s order entered in connection with a divorce case or paternity suit will contain the details regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time.
- Fathers’ Rights and Child Support: Colorado law applies guidelines to determine the amount of child support, starting with the sum of both parents’ gross incomes. Support will be a percentage of this amount, split between the parents – which may then be adjusted according to various factors. For instance, if you have substantial visitation time with the child, you may be paying less in support.
Legal Standard for Colorado Fathers’ Rights
Contrary to popular assumption, the mother does not always get custody while a father is granted visitation. Courts focus on the child’s well-being and maintaining strong parent-child bonds rather than outdated assumptions about gender roles. Colorado has enacted a statute on the best interests of the child for purposes of custody and visitation, which focuses on physical, mental, and emotional considerations and the needs of the child.
The child’s best interests standard is important because the judge must review them when making custody and visitation determinations at a court hearing. However, parents are encouraged to agree on custody and visitation, so you may not need to attend a hearing to have the court decide. The child’s best interests will come up when the judge reviews your parenting agreement to ensure it complies with the statute.
Our 4-Step Approach to Enforcing Fathers’ Rights
At the Jones Law Firm, PC, we have developed a strategy for serving the needs of our clients in fathers’ rights cases. The four steps are:
- Contact our office to discuss your circumstances and basic legal issues with a lawyer;
- Set up a no-cost consultation for a more in-depth assessment of your rights as a father and how to achieve your goals;
- We develop an action plan based upon your objectives;
- Our attorneys implement the action plan, whether we are negotiating a parenting agreement or fighting for your fathers’ rights in court.
A Centennial Fathers’ Rights Lawyer Can Advise You on Your Legal Options
For more information on how Colorado custody, visitation, and child support laws impact your role as a father, please contact the Jones Law Firm, PC. We can schedule a free case assessment with an experienced Centennial fathers’ rights attorney. Once we review your situation, we can advise you on your options and develop a strategy for achieving your goals.
Call April Jones, our Centennial fathers’ rights attorney at the firm today to get started on your case!
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The firm is professional, positive and grounded in their approach. Everyone in the office is always willing to help and is extremely flexible, which I can say is valued by a working professional. There has always been open and prompt communication. Hannah ultimately won our case, and she did so by having strong intellect, presentation skills, and a genuine interest in the well-being of both my daughter and I. I will continue to value the relationship and expertise long after the issues are resolved.
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