Unmarried parents and paternity establishment
When the parents of a child are married during the time of his or her birth, the law provides them with certain responsibilities and rights. For unmarried parents, fathers are not given these responsibilities or rights until paternity has been established. The Utah Courts provides helpful information on their website regarding paternity establishment for unmarried parents in Salt Lake City and across the state and also lists a number of advantages. For example, the establishment of paternity can allow children to access family medical data and receive financial support from both of their parents. Additionally, establishing paternity is often helpful for fathers who are dealing with legal matters regarding visitation or child custody.
According to the Office of Recovery Services, there are a couple of methods by which unmarried parents are able to have paternity established. If a child was born to parents who were not married, the child, their mother, their father or even the state of Utah can file a legal action which declares a certain man is the child's father. These legal actions are either filed administratively or in court and typically involve DNA testing.
Furthermore, parents may choose to complete a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity form, which establishes paternity so long as it was signed by both parents, there were two witnesses who are not related to the parents and it was properly submitted to Vital Records and Statistics. For cases which involve fathers who are under the age of 18, the father's guardian or parent also needs to sign the Voluntary Declaration of Paternity Form.