Custody and parenting laws in Jefferson County, Colorado, are easy to find when it relates to a divorcing couple. But, information on how custody works with unmarried parents is a different story. There is a different set of rules for this type of situation. If you are looking for assistance with a child custody case relating to a non-divorce spilt between you and the child’s other parent, you need an experienced child custody attorney to help protect your rights related to time with your children.
What is the Difference with Unmarried Parents and Child Custody / Parenting Time?
In Wheat Ridge, Arvada, and Golden, child custody is decided as a part of the divorce, which is handled in the Jefferson County Court. It is assumed in these situations that both parents will want some form of parenting time and that both parents have the right to time with their children, so there are procedures in place for deciding how custody is allotted to each parent. When unmarried parents split, there are sometimes no court proceedings involved. This means that sole physical custody automatically goes to the mother, unless the father takes action and petitions the court for child visitation and custody. This is the biggest difference with custodial and unmarried parents.
Establishing Paternity and Filing for Custody / Parenting Time
Because custody is automatically given to the mother, a father would need to take legal action to get court ordered visitation and custody. He must establish that he is the biological dad. Once a father establishes paternity, then the court will proceed with visitation and parental rights hearings, just like with any other custody case. If the father signed the birth certificate, that is often sufficient to establish paternity. However, if there is no signature or a different signature on the birth certificate, then a DNA paternity test will be required.
Whether you are a mother looking to preserve your custody or a father wanting to fight for visitation, contact the best child custody and parenting time attorneys from the Pearman Law Firm for a free initial phone consultation at 720-259-9528 or toll free at today.
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