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The importance of establishing paternity

Children who are born in Colorado can benefit greatly by knowing who their father is. Establishing paternity in the case of unwed parents is important for a number of reasons.

According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, the benefits to establishing paternity vary. These include:

  • Knowledge – children should have the opportunity to know who both their mother and their father are
  • Medical – children may be able to get health coverage through their father’s insurance plan
  • Financial – child support may be granted in certain situations
  • Benefits – in the case of death or disability, the child may qualify to receive inheritance, Social Security benefits and life insurance

In Colorado, there are three ways that paternity can be established. According to Colorado Dads, one is administrative paternity order. In this scenario, one of the parents applies for child support services, the court system is not involved and it requires only a $20 fee.  In a judicial paternity order, the court is involved with the process, and the parents can either represent themselves or hire attorneys to aid in the procedure. This is a more costly option, as there are court fees, attorney fees and a birth certificate fee. The voluntary acknowledgement of paternity is a form that both parents sign to establish the biological father. While this is the cheapest (free if signed at the time of birth) and easiest way to establish paternity, a paternity order may be necessary when it comes to child support, medical insurance, custody issues or visitation rights.

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