Child-Related Matters in Family Court

Child-Related Matters in Family Court

As a parent, issues involving your child are often your primary concern. When a legal matter arises with your child in the center, it can be an extremely stressful and worrisome time. Your parental rights and responsibilities might be on the line, and you want to have the help of an experienced Aurora family law attorney with any child-related case. 

The following are some brief overviews of common child-related matters in Colorado family court. 

Paternity

Colorado law automatically recognizes a mother’s parental rights when a child is born. If two parents are married, the law also recognizes the husband as the child’s father. If two parents are unmarried at the time of the birth, however, the father does not have any parental rights to the child without further legal action. 

There are different ways to establish legal paternity in Colorado, which are:

  • The parents both sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form after the child is born
  • If one parent contests paternity and refuses to sign the Acknowledgement form, the parent seeking to establish paternity can file a case in family court requesting a DNA test and order of paternity

Once paternity is established, the court will also address the child-related matters below. 

Child Custody

If two parents are getting divorced or unmarried parents do not live together, the court must issue an order regarding how the parents will share child custody rights. This includes:

  • Physical custody, which is the schedule that determines when a child will physically live with or visit each parent
  • Legal custody, which sets out when parents have the right to make important decisions for their child’s life

The law requires that all custody decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. Often, this means that the courts aim for the child to maintain a relationship with both parents through a joint custody arrangement. Parents can agree to a joint schedule and parenting plan for the court to approve. 

If one parent wants sole custody, it can be a more challenging situation. Often, the parents will need to go to court, and the judge will decide whether the circumstances warrant sole custody. This might happen in cases involving domestic abuse or an unfit parent. 

Child Support

When parents are not together, the court will conduct calculations and might order one parent to pay child support to the other, based on the income of each parent, custody arrangements, and other factors. It is important for the paying parent to comply with the support order – otherwise, they can face consequences. If income or other circumstances change significantly, a parent can seek a child support modification. 

Let an Aurora Family Law Attorney Help You

Family law cases can impact your relationship with your children and your finances, and it is important for an Aurora family law attorney to represent your rights and interests. CNL Law Firm, PLLC, handles all types of child-related matters, so please call (720) 370-2171 or contact us online for a consultation today.

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