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How can you secure visitation as an unmarried Colorado father?

Being a father is one of the most meaningful experiences, and many people assume that it comes with marriage. However, that isn't always the case. You don't have to have a good relationship with the mother of your child to care profoundly for the child.

Unfortunately, if your relationship with the mother ended on bad terms or if there was never a formal relationship, you may not feel like you have a place in your child's life. The mother of the child could even take steps to try to keep you from establishing a positive relationship with your kid.

In a situation where the mother of your child won't let you see your child or acknowledge you as the other parent, you will have to take legal action to establish yourself as the other parent and assert your rights as a biological parent.

You can try to discuss paternity first

Sometimes, the mother of a child will attempt to cut the other parent out of the situation if she believes the father does not desire a relationship with either her or the child. She may think she is saving everyone from heartache and stress when in reality she is undermining your ability to establish a relationship with your child.

If you have a way to communicate with the mother of your child, explaining to her that you want to step up and be a father may be all it takes to get her on your side. If she agrees, you can execute a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage form and then have your name added to the birth certificate. Spending time with your child could stem from an informal arrangement you make with the mother in this situation.

However, if she does not agree to acknowledge you as a father or agree to allow you any parenting time, you will have to take additional steps to secure your relationship with the child.

The courts allow you to file a paternity case

If the mother of your child won't talk with you about the situation or refuses to voluntarily acknowledge you as the father, your next option will be to file a paternity case with the Colorado family courts. You will need to fill out certain documents that explain that you believe you are the father of the child in question.

The courts will then review the request and have the mother submit the child for genetic testing. In the event that the test affirms your paternity, you will then have the right to seek your parental rights and fulfill your parental responsibilities to your child.

Your rights include the right to spend time with your child and have a say in important decisions about their life, such as educational and health choices. Your responsibilities include providing for the care of your child, which can include parenting time as well as child support if the mother has the child more of the time than you do.

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