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What role does paternity play in seeking child support?

Every day, children are born to Colorado parents, and the families those children enter can have very unique characteristics. Some families are led by married parents, and some families may include two parents who have chosen not to wed. In some instances, children may be born to single mothers who are not involved with their kids' fathers, and in other instances their mothers may know who their children's dads are and may struggle to convince those men of their roles as fathers.

One reason that it is important to have a child's paternity established is because it can ease the process of seeking child support from the father should the need arise. Child support is the payment of money from a noncustodial parent to a child for the purposes of giving the child the financial assistance needed to thrive.

When a child's father and mother are married and residing together, child support and paternity are generally non-issues. Even when a child's mother and father are unwed, but in a committed relationship, it is not uncommon for them to acknowledge the paternity of the child at birth and both support the child as it grows. However, when a child is born to a mother who does not acknowledge the father of the child, steps may later need to be taken to prove a man is the child's father and therefore responsible for providing monetary support.

Proving paternity can be compelled by a court, and can result in a host of rights for a man shown to be a child's father. Though he may be required to pay support for the benefit of his child, he may also gain the right to seek custody or visitation time with the child, as well as the opportunity to have his name added to his child's birth certificate. Paternity is an important step in receiving child support, but as noted herein, it is also a necessary component of establishing a father's rights to be involved in the life of his child.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
1820 West Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

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