A child born to unmarried parents is not an uncommon situation. However, it can create certain legal issues such as paternity. When the parents of a child are married, there is a legal presumption of paternity. This is not the same for unmarried parents. Paternity must be established in Utah in this situation in order to create certain rights such as the right to child support. There are various scenarios for establishing paternity. In fact, there are three specific ways towards achieving this legal status in Utah.
The Three Routes Towards Paternity
Remember, just because there are three ways to establish paternity in Utah does not mean that each way is an option for you. It is best to discuss your options with a skilled family law attorney before taking any legal action.
- VDP ("Voluntary Declaration of Paternity"): This is for when both parents agree to voluntarily sign a document acknowledging paternity. The document is filed with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics. The father's name is placed on the birth certificate.
- Administrative Paternity Order: If at least one parent files for child support, this will initiate a NAA ("Notice of Agency Action") by the Office of Recovery Services. The parents can then respond to this notice to establish paternity. Again, the father's name is then placed on the birth certificate.
- Judicial Paternity Order: This is an order issued by the court usually when an order of custody and parent-time is sought in addition to an order establishing paternity. Either parent may request this type of order.
Questions that you have about paternity in addition to questions about custody, child support, parent-time and parenting plans can be answered by a knowledgeable family law attorney.