Establishing legal paternity in Utah for child support

When it comes to child support in Utah, both parents are responsible for ensuring their child has sufficient funds. It becomes a more complicated matter if legal paternity is not established, even if the biological father is known, according to Livestrong.

Despite being the biological father, without official paternal establishment, a man does not have the legal rights or responsibilities of being a father. These include custody, visitation and child support. In order to establish the rights of the father, there is a formal application process for legal paternity. This typically requires submitting some paperwork and might also include a DNA paternity test, depending on the support of the mother.

According to Paternity Matters, in Utah, the definition of paternity includes the legal recognition of the father. The state, the child, the mother or the biological father might initiate this process. It is typically done through submitting the Voluntary Declaration of Paternity, which is issued by the Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics. It is provided free of service at the birth of the child, but can be submitted at any time after the birth for a fee.

For this to be done, both parents must hear a message or watch a movie, read the official legal notice and then sign the document with witnesses. This establishes legal paternity, which also adds the father's name to the child's birth certificate. After this document is submitted, the legal father will be responsible for child support, so the mother has the right to file an order.

Paternity establishment typically occurs when a woman is unmarried, since for married women, the paternity is assumed to belong to the husband. If this is not the case, then a Utah Voluntary Declaration of Paternity or some other legal order provides the paternity rights to the biological father rather than the husband. This information is intended to educate only and should not be considered legal advice.

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