Paternity and the Military
There are many unique aspects of military family law; paternity included. Sometimes it is not clear whether a servicemember is the father of a child. Civilian courts offer paternity proceedings involving DNA testing to identify biological fathers. The military does not have civil courts, therefore these proceedings are always handled in civilian courts. A servicemember can be required by a court to submit to a DNA test to determine paternity upon request of a mother. If paternity is determined, then a court can order the father to financial support the child. In this event, there are steps to take with the military personnel office to establish eligibility to receive dependent benefits.
In Colorado, paternity cases are filed under the Colorado Uniform Parentage Act (CUPA). The goal of a paternity case is to identify the biological father of a child and if parentage is established, to determine allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time and child support. If the child was conceived in Colorado, the alleged father is domiciled in Colorado, or the alleged father is served with process in Colorado, then the proceedings may occur in the Colorado courts.
An action brought under the CUPA may be filed in the county where the child resides, the mother resides, or the alleged father resides or is found. A child or guardian ad litem, the child’s mother, or a man alleged or alleging himself to be the natural father, may initiate a paternity action.Child Support
Without a court order the military can not require an alleged father to pay support and the child has no right to military benefits. However military members must comply with paternity court orders. If a court order requires financial support to the child, then the military can require a servicemember to comply with that order. The member then becomes eligible for additional pay to aid in meeting the support requirements.ID Cards & Military Benefits
The services will issue an identification card to a child of a male service member if the member acknowledges paternity or provides a court order and birth certificate to the personnel office. To obtain an identification card for the child, the member must complete and submit a DD Form 1172, Application for Uniformed Services Identification.Housing Allowance
The military will pay the with-dependents rate for a housing allowance if:
- the father is on the child’s birth certificate
- there is a court order indicating that the father is the parent, or
- the member acknowledges parentage in writing.
Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone. With offices in Colorado Springs and Denver, we can guide you through the experience by handling pleading and motion preparation and filing, negotiation, mediation, and court proceedings from start to finish. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on trying to figure out how the overly complex court system works. Remember that change often creates new opportunity and a better future. Janko Family Law can help ensure that your best interests and the best interests of your family are protected. Contact us at 719-344-5523 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.