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Why establishing paternity is important

There are benefits to multiple parties when you determine and acknowledge the father legally in Colorado. Establishing paternity is important for financial, emotional, psychological, medical and legal reasons.

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse discusses that paternity allows the father to take part in his child’s life, even if he is not currently with the mother. As a legal father, he can request visitation or custody, and ask to help make important life decisions about the child. One of the benefits for the mother is she can request support, if needed, once they establish paternity.

The child benefits greatly from knowing who the legal father is. Some benefits include:

  • Ability to build emotional relationship
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Knowledge of medical history
  • Access to inheritance
  • Social security benefits
  • Veteran’s benefits 

Paternity can help in situations in which child protective services or the court removes the child from the mother. Rather than go to foster care or a group home, the father can take over custody if the court approves. 

It is a good idea to take a paternity test even if the man is fairly sure he is the father, because it can be difficult to overturn the paternity declaration. According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, a man is able to withdraw acknowledgment of paternity if it has been fewer than 60 days after signing the paperwork. This request can go through an attorney, the child support enforcement agency or the court directly. One can request this after the 60-day mark, but there is no guarantee of overturning the legal finding.

 

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