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Paternity fraud is a growing problem in Colorado

Wednesday, 30 September 2009 09:40
With the growing number of unwed mothers in America, cases of paternity fraud are on the rise.  Paternity fraud is when a mother attempts to collect child support or other benefit s from someone who is not the father of their child.  Until recently, Colorado law disallowed an unmarried or divorced man from being removed from an order of support once he had been judged as the legal father, despite the existence of DNA evidence that proved otherwise.

Even after the Equal Justice Foundation fought this law and recently won a minor victory on behalf of paternity fraud victims, the burden of proof still rests with the alleged father until they are able to provide sufficient DNA evidence.  In other words, unlike other “so-called” criminals, they are also denied due process. If you feel you may be paying child support for a child who is not yours, consult with a Colorado Springs paternity lawyer.

 

A recently passed bill, known as SBO8-183, still requires the plaintiff to pay a $70 filing fee for the right to disprove their paternity.  In addition, men who are served with a child support petition are only given two years to file a modification that questions their paternity.  This unfortunate addition to the bill could seriously jeopardize one’s ability to successfully fight paternity fraud, as many unmarried men don’t even learn about a child support order for a while after it is entered.  This amendment also bars a man from presenting additional evidence after the final order is entered. 

Still, this bill offers far greater protection against paternity fraud than previous Colorado statutes, and with the help of Rep. Nancy Todd, it passed the Colorado House judiciary committee on April 29, 2008.

However, before you get too encouraged by the above, it should be noted that in the early hours of May 1st, Colorado representative Bob Gardner from Colorado Springs introduced an amendment to the bill.  This new language muddies the waters a bit, because now the bill only allows a man to be freed from their child support obligations if it is “just and proper under the circumstances… and in the best interests of the child.”  

Needless to say, if you feel you are a victim of paternity fraud in Colorado, you should seek the counsel of an experienced Colorado Springs paternity lawyer.  They know the law and can help you respond to a paternity action appropriately, and in a way that protects your future financial interests.

 

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Pat Marrison

Owner and Principle Attorney at Marrison Family Law in Colorado Springs, 1978 - present
I have been a lawyer for over thirty years, and the aspect I enjoy most about Family Law is helping my clients enter a new chapter of their lives. I have the experience to handle a broad spectrum of cases, from the most contested and complex divorces to handling smooth settlement agreement which allows the clients to transition to their new life with confidence and security.

Website: https://plus.google.com/112655120543276847652/posts

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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