Utah Paternity Lawyer

Utah Paternity Lawyer

When a child is born to unmarried parents, there are several steps and methods by which paternity can be established.

If two unmarried people have a child out of wedlock, the biological or “putative” father must file with the state a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity, which affords him rights under the law. If the biological father does not register with the state (and strictly comply with specific requirements) within 10 days from the date where he learned or should have learned of his child’s impending adoption, he cannot object to an adoption.

In terms of his paternity in accordance with the law, a biological father’s consent to adoption is not required unless he performs specific actions to establish his paternity.

Experienced Paternity and Family/Domestic Law Attorney Kelly Peterson Helps Dads Establish Paternity

It’s important to remember that either parent may file a petition to establish the father’s paternity in district court. This process is similar to filing a divorce petition except that the issues of alimony, property division, and dissolution of the marriage are not included – it’s simply a matter of paternity. The issues of custody, visitation, tax return deduction claims, insurance, day care etc. are issues to be decided by the court in a paternity action. Paternity lawyer Kelly Peterson can assist you in this process.

Another complex paternity issue arises if the mother had an affair during the course of a marriage resulting in a child. The mother’s husband is the legal father, even if he is not the biological father. The husband’s status as legal father can be challenged under certain circumstances, but if the legal father has assumed parental responsibility for a child born into the marriage, it is unlikely that any challenge to his legal status as father will be successful (unless it can be demonstrated that the child’s relationship with the legal father is harmful to the child).

The law presumes that a man is the father of a child born during his marriage or within 300 days after termination of the marriage. If either parent wishes to challenge paternity, they must do so prior to the divorce being final. Additionally, if the mother wishes to challenge the paternity of the legal or presumed father, she must show why it would be in the best interest of the child. Even if a DNA test shows that the legal father is not the biological father, the court can disregard the DNA test results, particularly if dis-establishing the legal father would not be in the child’s best interest.

Another method by which paternity may be established is through the Utah Office of Recovery Services, which is the state agency charged with collecting child support. In order to keep a mother from being a burden on the public (e.g., requiring public assistance, Medicaid etc.), ORS may file an administrative action against an alleged biological father. They may require the man to undergo DNA testing in order to establish his paternity. If such a proceeding has been properly initiated, but the man refuses to undergo DNA testing, he may be defaulted, and an administrative order declaring him to be the father will enter. Failure to undergo DNA testing will not save the alleged father from being established to be the father. In any of these circumstances, working with experienced paternity lawyer Kelly Peterson will help you navigate the complex legal pathways in paternity proceedings.
Paternity attorney Kelly Peterson can assist you with your paternity case.

Visit www.kmpetersonlaw.net to learn more or to schedule a consultation to discuss your particular paternity issue.

Kelly Peterson
About the Author

Experienced Divorce Lawyer Kelly Peterson handles child custody, visitation, paternity, grandparent rights and mediation cases.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children