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Fort Collins Paternity Lawyer

Establishing paternity is how mothers and fathers in Colorado can protect their rights to parenting time with children and/or begin the process of seeking child support payments. It is also how both parties can legally establish who is not the father of a child. 

At The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC, our Fort Collins family lawyers have vast experience representing mothers and potential fathers in paternity cases. We understand how important the outcome of paternity cases can be for both you and the child involved. That’s why we’ll fight for you every step of the way. Our Colorado paternity attorneys are highly skilled at helping people navigate the process, effectively and aggressively protecting their rights in the pursuit of optimal outcomes.

Call (970) 488-1887 or email our firm for a 100% confidential consultation.

Paternity consultations are available via phone and Skype to anyone who is unable to visit our conveniently located offices in Fort Collins, CO.

How & When Colorado Law Presumes Paternity

Colorado law sets forth a number of circumstances in which a man is presumed to be a child’s biological or natural father. These circumstances for presumed paternity in Colorado include (and may not be limited to) the following:

  • A child is born to a married couple, in which case the husband is presumed to be the father. 
  • A child is born within 300 days (roughly 10 months) of a divorce or a partnership that was treated as a valid marriage (regardless of whether it was a legal marriage).
  • A man acknowledges paternity on the birth certificate or an official form filed with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
  • A man welcomes a child “under the age of majority” into his home, holding the child out in public as his natural offspring.
  • Genetic testing establishes paternity.

In these situations, there would be no need to establish paternity via the courts due to the presumption of paternity under Colorado law.

How Colorado Paternity Cases Work

In Colorado, the process for establishing paternity depends on whether there is a dispute over who the father is. If paternity is not disputed, the father can complete an Admission of Paternity form (JDF 1504) and file it with the court. This can be done without any open paternity case or as a response to an open paternity case (i.e., a response to the petition to open the paternity case).

If either party disputes who the father is, the Colorado paternity process will usually proceed as follows:

  1. A mother will complete and file the following forms with the court to initiate a paternity case:
    1. Case Information Sheet (JDF 1000)
    1. Petition for Paternity (JDF 1501)
    1. Summons in Paternity (JDF 1502)
    1. Final Order of Paternity (JDF 1516)

  2. Once the case has been opened, a copy of the petition to open the case must be served to the party named as the alleged father. Upon completion of service, the mother will need to submit another court form to verify this step of the process was completed.

  3. The alleged father will then need to complete a Response (JDF 1315). At this point, the alleged father (or the mother) could complete a petition to request genetic testing. If both parties agree to genetic testing, form JDF 1506 needs to be completed. If the parties disagree about genetic testing, form JDF 1505 should be completed.

This can be just the beginning of the paternity case, with genetic testing and court hearings to follow. Then, once paternity has been established, it can be essential to go back to court and formalize custody arrangements and child support obligations so that both are enforceable by the family law judges. For some, that can mean that heated court battles continue, and that the representation of a paternity and family law attorney can be invaluable when you need to protect what matters most.

How a Colorado Paternity Attorney Can Help You

A paternity lawyer at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC can help you with every aspect of your paternity case—from advising you of your rights and options before a case has officially started to handling the necessary court filings, representing you in court, and providing important counsel and support every step of the way.

The truth is that a lot can be on the line with paternity cases and making a mistake could create new, unnecessary challenges for you. It may even compromise your case while making it more difficult to achieve your objectives.

With one of our Fort Collins family lawyers representing you, you can be confident that:

  • You are taking the right steps.
  • You will have better chances of obtaining successful resolutions.
  • You will have the counsel and support you need for any family law cases that follow a paternity case, whether those include custody cases and/or child support hearings.

Find out more about your rights and options in a paternity case, how to proceed, and how we can help you by contacting our 5-star team today.

Call (970) 488-1887 or email our firm for a 100% confidential consultation.

If you are unable to make it to our offices, we provide consultations via phone and Skype.

The Colorado family lawyers at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC are trusted, experienced advocates who work as true partners with our clients. We have a reputation for excellence and top-quality representation, and we are known for providing personal attention and strategic, practical solutions tailored to each client’s unique circumstances. Plus, whenever it’s time to fight for you in court, you can count on us for tough representation and tireless advocacy in the pursuit of the best possible outcomes.


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Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Suzanne Ewy

Suzanne Ewy, Esq.

Family Law
Carla Jaquess

Carla Jaquess, Esq.

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Attorney Lisa Vigil

Lisa Vigil, Esq.

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Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

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