Helping Sort Out Your Paternity Case
Usually, establishing paternity is simple. However, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in a paternity lawsuit, whether you’re the biological father fighting for your rights or a mother entitled to child support. At Porter Law Firm, we’re committed to preserving your rights under Utah law. We work with Ogden families to establish paternity and get children the financial support they need. No matter the circumstances of your case, we’re glad to meet with you and discuss your options. Whether we need to litigate or the situation can be handled out of court, we’ll be at your side every step of the way.
How Is Paternity Decided in Utah?
While most of the time determining paternity is straightforward, other times, it can become a more complex issue. In Utah, paternity can be established through one of the following means:
- Marriage: In most cases, it’s safe to assume that the husband of the child’s mother is also the father. When a married couple has a child, the husband is presumed to have paternal rights. If a child is born up to 300 days after a divorce, the ex-husband will still be the presumed father.
- Adoption: Many couples choose to adopt a child, whether they can have children naturally or not. After an adoption, the adoptive father can become the child’s legal father.
- Declaration of Paternity: Not every paternity case is as obvious as two married partners. If a couple is unmarried, they may sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This form clearly states the identity of the child’s legal father and gives him parental rights.
- Administrative Paternity Order: This order given by the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) is often sought when child support is not being paid. The ORS can order paternity tests to establish a legal father.
- Lawsuit: In the event that the biological father is not cooperative, the mother can establish paternity in court. The presumed father will be required to appear in court and take a DNA test.
How Is Paternity Defined?
Most of us know the general definition of paternity, but for legal purposes, it’s important to know the specific meaning. Under Utah law, paternity simply refers to the legally-established father of a child. With paternity comes a slew of rights associated with fatherhood, including custody, visitation, and involvement in the child’s education.
The Process for Establishing Paternity
When the parties involved cannot agree on whether a man is the legal father of a child, the process of establishing paternity in court begins. First, a judge will likely order a paternity test. These tests are highly accurate and can put to rest any questions about who the true biological father is. If the judge determines a man has legal parental rights, he is then entitled to visitation or custody. However, he will also be required to financially support the child. Some cases are more complex than this, and our paternity lawyers will help you navigate the legal code.
Why You Should Seek an Attorney
It’s tempting to keep family matters within the family. Nevertheless, working with a paternity attorney is often in your best interests, whether you’re a father or mother. Establishing paternity will leave lasting impacts on the child and can do a lot to financially support their education and wellbeing. With so much at stake, it’s crucial to consult with someone who has a thorough understanding of Utah law and help you maneuver a complicated situation.
Contact Our Experienced Paternity Lawyers
Dealing with paternity cases can bring lots of financial issues and emotional hardships. But you don’t have to go it alone. Our experienced paternity lawyers are here to help Ogden families put their concerns to rest. No matter how you’re involved in a paternity case, our team will help you navigate the complexities of Utah law and work to get you optimal results. Consult with one of our attorneys today to learn more about your legal options.