Reviewing different paternity establishment methods

From child support to gaining access to family medical information, paternity establishment carries many benefits for children as well as their parents. In Salt Lake City, and across the rest of Utah, there are a number of ways that paternity is established and it is important for parents to understand their options.

The Utah Courts outlines three different methods people can use to establish paternity. For starters, parents can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity form, which will place the name of the father on the child's birth certificate. Following court actions, Judicial Paternity Orders are issued. In order to commence the process, parents need to file a Decree of Parentage form. Judicial Paternity Orders establish child support and help children secure health insurance.

Administrative Paternity Orders are another method used to establish legal fatherhood. When a parent submits an application for child support, an action is issued by the Office of Recovery Services. Administrative Paternity Orders also establish the amount of child support that is owed and allow children to obtain health insurance. Furthermore, all three of the aforementioned methods can allow children who are under 5 to have their name changed.

In fiscal year 2015, more than $217 million in child support was collected by the Office of Recovery Services, according to their website. Additionally, paternity matters remain a problem for over 3 percent of cases involving child support, which underlines the importance of establishing paternity promptly. When it comes to the well-being of a child, parents should work towards a financially healthy outcome.

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