A Family Lawyer for Unmarried Parents Can Protect Your Rights
When men and women who are not married have a dispute over their children, they deserve the same caliber of family lawyer divorcing couples do. The attorneys of Dunsing & Deakins, LLC in Denver, CO, understand the special circumstances of unmarried parents and their rights and responsibilities under the law. Dunsing & Deakins, LLC regularly represents unmarried parents and vigorously protects their interests in disputes over child support, and child custody, and the division of assets and debts. A lawyer for unmarried parents can help you resolve issues of paternity, custody, and common law marriage.
Why Do I Need Legal Representation?
Dunsing & Deakins, LLC advises clients on the legal approach that best suits their needs. The attorneys handle every family law case personally, which means you meet directly with them not a paralegal, and they answer your questions and ensure phone calls are returned promptly. Dunsing & Deakins, LLC represents mothers seeking financial support and fathers seeking visitation or custody.
What Constitutes Common Law Marriage?
In Colorado, a couple may be married in an officiated ceremony or be found to be married under common law. A court decides whether parties are married under common law. The length of a relationship or cohabitation does not matter. Rather, the court considers whether the couple held themselves out to the public as being married:
- Did the man and woman publicly refer to each other as husband and wife or take on the responsibilities of a married couple?
- Did the couple file taxes individually or jointly?
- Did the couple co-mingle assets, have credit cards, buy health insurance or own real estate together?
In a common law marriage, the couple’s assets and debts are subject to equitable distribution upon dissolution, just as with a ceremonial marriage. The division of property is typically an issue only with spouses. However, the criteria for determining child support and child custody are the same for married and unmarried parents.
Dunsing & Deakins, LLC regularly represents unmarried parents and vigorously protects their interests in disputes over child support, and child custody, and the division of assets and debts.
In Colorado, parental rights and child support can be pursued through two means:
- If a paternity action is filed under the Colorado Children’s Code, child support and birth-related expenses can be ordered retroactive to the date of birth. This would be beneficial for a single mother filing a paternity claim against an absent father.
- If an action is filed under Colorado’s domestic code, back child support can only be ordered to the date the petition was filed. This option often makes the most sense for a father seeking to establish a relationship with his child.
If fatherhood is in dispute, a court can order genetic testing to prove paternity.
Speak with an Attorney
Securing your rights in paternity or common law marriage depends on quality legal advice and aggressive representation in court by a skilled family law attorney. Contact Denver and Avon paternity attorneys Dunsing & Deakins, LLC. They really listen and prepare you for the road ahead. They are available anytime for a free consultation at the firm’s comfortable and welcoming offices. Reach out to our Denver office at (303) 758-8981 or the Avon office at (970) 343-9923 to schedule a consultation.
“Lucy, Wendi, and Fred were all amazing throughout my case. Lucy's knowledge and expertise, as well as the law firm's professional connections with mediators and child family investigators, led to a custody resolution that truly represents the best interest of my son. Many thanks!” - Satisfied Client