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Q: unwed father's rights ( Answered,   7 Comments )
Subject: unwed father's rights
Category: Family and Home > Relationships
Asked by: julie24-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 20 May 2006 20:30 PDT
Expires: 19 Jun 2006 20:30 PDT
Question ID: 730851
Three days after my husband and I were married, we found out that his
ex-girlfriend is three months pregnant.  After thinking about what she
wanted to do for three weeks, she decided it was best to move to Texas
to be with her family.  My husband was not sure what to do since he is
married to me but she is pregnant and didn't know if he could stop her
in any way from leaving the state.  The child is definitely his, so
what kind of rights does he have?  Can he file something to make her
come back to Utah so he can be a part of his baby's life?
Subject: Re: unwed father's rights
Answered By: hummer-ga on 21 May 2006 07:35 PDT
Hi julie24,

Ok, I finally found the website you need. It is the Utah Department of
Human Services Office of Recovery Services' Child Support Services
(the key phrase being "child support"). I've copied and pasted a few
relevant sections, but you really need to read through the entire FAQ
PRESS 2, 6."  Please remember that signing the Voluntary Declaration
of Paternity form establishes paternity and *support payment
responsibilities*, visitation rights are established by court order.
In other words, consult a lawyer before signing anything!

What is Paternity?
"Paternity means fatherhood. When a married woman gives birth, her
husband is presumed to be the father of the child. When a child is
born outside of marriage, the father of the child does not
automatically have the same rights and responsibilities as the father
of a child born in marriage. The law allows the mother, child, father
or State of Utah to legally establish that a man is the father of a
child. When this occurs, the child's paternity has been established."
How can unmarried parents establish paternity?
There are two ways:
 * The mother, father, child or the State may file a legal action to
declare that a man is the father of a child who was born outside of a
marriage. This can be done judicially (in court) or administratively
(by the State of Utah) and normally involves genetic testing.
 * Parents can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity form and file
this declaration with the Department of Health, Vital Records and
Statistics. When a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity form is signed
by the child's mother AND father, and the form is witnessed by two
individuals that are not related to you and filed with Vital Records
and Statistics, paternity is established..."
How do I know if I should sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity?
"A mother or father of a child born outside of marriage is not
required to sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. If the
Declaration is signed, it is legally binding on the mother and the
father. A Voluntary Declaration should not be signed if:
 * The mother is married, her husband is not the father of the child
and the husband, the mother and the father of the child are not all
willing to sign the Voluntary Declaration form;
 * The mother or alleged father is not certain the alleged father is
the child's father; or,
 * Either parent does not understand the legal consequences of signing the form
2, 6."
Is there a fee for filing or getting copies of the form?
If the affidavit is completed in the hospital with the birth
certificate, there is no fee for filing it.  If the affidavit is
completed within one year of the child's date of birth, there is no
fee for filing it, but there is a $15.00 search fee for finding the
birth certificate, which includes one certified copy of the amended
birth certificate. If it is filed after one year, there is a $20.00
fee for registration of the affidavit, which includes one certified
copy of the amended certificate.  Additional copies on the same day
are $8.00 each."
Where can I get a copy of the Voluntary Declaration of Paternity form?
"Copies of the form are provided by health care facilities to
unmarried parents when a child is born, and are also available at the
Department of Health, Vital Records and Statistics and all local
health departments..."
What about custody and visitation?
"Custody and visitation issues should be addressed in a court order.
This must be done even if paternity was established by a Voluntary
Declaration of Paternity or an administrative order.  Both parents
have the right to ask the court for custody. If parents cannot agree
on visitation issues, the court will decide these issues as well.
Federal law does not permit the Office of Recovery Services to use
federal child support funding for purposes of establishing or
enforcing custody and visitation issues."
If someone says you are the father of a child, how can you make sure
that you really are?
"You should not sign the Voluntary Declaration of Paternity form if
you have any doubts about whether you are the father of a child. There
are very accurate genetic tests available which will absolutely
exclude you if you are not the father.
If you have an open child support case with the Office of Recovery
Services, you may request genetic testing (usually at no charge) at
any time before paternity and a child support order are established."
Where to call for information?
About ORS child support and paternity establishment:
(801) 536-8500 or (800) 662-8525
For information about the Voluntary Declaration of Paternity process,
dial one of the above numbers, then PRESS 2, 6.
About custody and visitation or other legal assistance:
LegalMatch (866) 678-5342
Legal Aid: (801) 328-8849
Legal Services (Salt Lake County): (801) 328-8891
Utah Bar Association: (801) 531-9077

Find the Right Lawyer

Additional Links of Interest:

Paternity Information Page
Everything fathers need to know and what the government fails to tell you!
Signing the Paternity Acknowledgment Form
"It is important to keep in mind that by signing the "Paternity
Acknowledgment Form" (PAF), you are giving your states Child Support
Enforcement Division legal power to collect child support from you."
"By signing the PAF you are NOT establishing legal visitation or
custody. Also by signing the PAF you are giving up "due process"
concerning taking care of visitation, custody, and support all in one
swoop. Your local District Court can establish paternity, child
support, visitation, and custody while also providing due process.
You may get the feeling from the above paragraph that we are
discouraging signing the PAF. Not true. We are against signing a PAF
while not knowing ALL the implications that go along with the signing
of the PAF. If you are comfortable with signing the PAF and all the
requirements that go with it, congratulations."

DNA Testing
The process is relatively easy and reasonable.
 * Costs very but figure around $500 for a trio with Buccal swabs
or blood samples.
 * Additional cost would be to a private clinic for specimen
collection, which may be around $20 per person.
 * If you prefer not to go to a medical site and do not need a
legal notarized result, a self-collection kit can be sent t your home
for around $350. One kit will collect up to three people. Cost of
testing is usually separate and additional cost.
 * Results will take around 2 weeks.

"Under early common law, a child born out of wedlock was considered
filius nullius -- the child of no one. If paternity was established at
all, the parents suffered the indignities of criminal ?bastardy?
proceedings, and the child had few legal rights. Perhaps prodded by a
soaring increase in out-of-wedlock births, society has begun to
recognize the social and fiscal costs of ignoring these children.
Starting in 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a series of cases
that precluded discrimination against this population of children, by
States or the Federal Government, without a compelling State
interest.[1]In 1973, the National Conference of Commissioners on
Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) approved the original Uniform Parentage
Act(UPA),[2] which 19 States subsequently adopted in full and other
States adopted in part. The UPA declared equality for parents and
children without regard to the parents? marital status..."
"As with almost any other aspect of the CSE program, interstate
paternity cases can present a particular challenge.[70]
Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), a tribunal
has jurisdiction over a nonresident party in a one-State action if one
of the Act's long-arm provisions applies. UIFSA sets out eight bases
for a State to assert long-arm jurisdiction over a nonresident
1. the individual is personally served within the State;
2. the individual submits to the jurisdiction of the State by consent,
by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive document
having the effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction;
3. the individual resided with the child in the State;
4. the individual resided in the State and provided prenatal expenses
or support for the child;
5. the child resides in the State as a result of the acts or
directives of the individual;
6. the individual engaged in sexual intercourse in the State, and the
child might have been conceived by that act of intercourse;
7. the individual asserted parentage in the putative father registry
maintained in the State; or
8. there is any other basis consistent with the constitutions of the
State and the United States for the exercise of personal

229-2  Establishing Parental Relationship
5. When the child resides only with the mother, Child Support
Enforcement forms must be completed on all possible fathers.  ORS will
establish paternity through the court..."

"This state form is used by the father to acknowledge the paternity of
a child when he is not married to the child's mother. The original
form is retained by the State Health Department permanently. The form
includes child's name, birth date and place, mother's name and
address, father's name and address, and a notarized signed statement
acknowledging child's paternity.
Record copy: Permanent. May be transferred to the State Archives.
Duplicate copies: Retain until administrative need ends and then destroy."

78-45g-302. Execution of declaration of paternity.

Child Support Collections faq 

Utah 78-45f-201. Bases for jurisdiction over nonresident.
(1) In a proceeding to establish or enforce a support order or to
determine parentage, a tribunal of this state may exercise personal
jurisdiction over a nonresident individual, or the individual's
guardian or conservator, if:
 (a) the individual is personally served with notice within this state;
 (b) the individual submits to the jurisdiction of this state by
consent, by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive
document having the effect of waiving any contest to personal
 (c) the individual resided with the child in this state;
 (d) the individual resided in this state and provided prenatal
expenses or support for the child;
 (e) the child resides in this state as a result of the acts or
directives of the individual;
 (f) the individual engaged in sexual intercourse in this state and
the child may have been conceived by that act of intercourse;
 (g) the individual asserted parentage in the putative father registry
maintained in this state by the state registrar of vital records in
the Department of Health pursuant to Title 78, Chapter 30, Adoption;
 (h) there is any other basis consistent with the constitutions of
this state and the United States for the exercise of personal
 (2) The bases of personal jurisdiction set forth in Subsection (1) or
in any other law of this state may not be used to acquire personal
jurisdiction for a tribunal of the state to modify a child-support
order of another state unless the requirements of Section 78-45f-611
or 78-45f-615 are met.


I was glad to work on this for you and I hope all goes well for you
both. If you have any questions, please post a clarification request
and wait for me to respond before closing/rating my answer.

Thank you,

Google Search Terms Used:
utah paternity support unwed father
utah "Acknowledgment of Paternity"
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
Uniform Parentage Act
utah petition to determine parentage
utah "Acknowledgment of Paternity"
utah parental rights unwed father
utah parental rights
Subject: Re: unwed father's rights
From: probonopublico-ga on 21 May 2006 01:20 PDT
Whatever his rights, wouldn't it be better for her and her (future)
baby if she went to Texas?
Subject: Re: unwed father's rights
From: frde-ga on 21 May 2006 02:01 PDT
- the g/f and baby will need their family's support

Also he should be looking into child support
- making a fair (and generous) contribution would make access easier

Starting a scrap now will set of acrimony
- acting considerately will allow some access
- acting brutally will enrich lawyers and estrange his ex g/f, family and child

Personally I would find out the child support rates for both Texas and
Utah, offer the higher plus say 20%, that way he'll get a chance of
seeing the child.
Subject: Re: unwed father's rights
From: nelson-ga on 21 May 2006 15:22 PDT
How long were you two engaged or going steady?  Perhaps rather than
thinking about his rights you should be thinking about leaving him if
he cheated.
Subject: Re: unwed father's rights
From: frde-ga on 23 May 2006 04:05 PDT

I think this might be a very complex situation.

Two tickets to Texas (not just one) for visiting.

I think you'll get my drift
Subject: Re: unwed father's rights
From: singlemama3-ga on 07 Jun 2006 19:26 PDT
I was in a similar situation, remove marriage issue though. I got
pregnant and moved back with my family to the state I graduated
college from and now it's a mess. Here is what I've found in my many
legal cases and research: Jurisdiction for Child Support will be
determined in the state of conception and the state in which the
non-custodial parent lives. Parenting time (AKA, Custody/Visitation)
jurisdiction will be handled by the child's resident state. So, if she
gives birth in Texas, then the child's resident state is Texas or if
she moves to Texas and legal proceedings aren't started for 6 mo. or
more after the child is born then Texas again. Most states use 6 mo.
as a rule of thumb for residency issues pertaining to minor children.
The fact of paternity cannot be decided until after the birth, unless
both parties and a medical professional are willing to do an amnio,
but it's really expensive. Understand that any financial assistance
you provide the mother at this time will have ZERO barring on the
courts decision for support and you may still end up owing back
support if the court finalizes support after the birth (which in
reality will happen). I'm not saying don't send any help, bc I'm a
single mother and didn't get a dime and to tell you the truth it is
making my ex's situation MUCH, MUCH worse then if he had helped out!
He even made me pay for parking when we went to one of the prenatal
appt. together...that's how little he helped! I would be careful
following the advice of the person below on basically giving 50% of
your income to her! Most state's use a calculation for support that
breaks it almost into a percentage of what you make. So, in my case
support is in CA so they take a flat 25% of his net income bc he has
zero overnight visitations. Now, I highly suggest that if your husband
wants a part of this child's life (and he should bc he helped create
it) that he help in some way, i.e. buy some stuff on her registry and
keep the receipts to show he is helping, etc. I wouldn't suggest cash
lump sum payments though until after the court decisions on custody
and support! Also, once the child is born, he needs to get a lawyer
(don't try to do it alone in case she puts up a fight he will lose
without a lawyer...most likely) and file first for paternity and
parenting time. Also, as a thought most states will not decide on
joint interstate parenting time plans, bc it's unfair to the child to
be uprooted form each state for such long periods of time. However, he
can request certain holidays and all summer, which would show he has
the best interest at heart. SO many people get caught up in who paid
this and who saw who when and when I get to see the child, etc.
Remember, the court doesn't care about all that! They simply care
about who has the best interest of the child in mind! If she gets
greedy with money or visits, she could lose custody all together..this
happened to a friend of mine and he knows has all 3 of his children
and she gets every other weekend! He needs to first decide how much he
wants to be in this child's life and then move forward. I agree with
the statement below that you don't want to make her mad or she will
just make things harder on you both! Oh, I forgot, since you're
married support will be decided on both your incomes! If possible, if
you move to Texas too it would make things much easier on all of you.
I hope I helped a little, but as for your question about what can you
do about her moving to Texas, well nothing really! She has the right
to move anywhere she wants until there's a court order deciding
custody. Again, this is just the information I was given in my own
path to parenting rights, etc. Also, your husband may want to look
into co-parenting classes that give advice on parenting when the
parents aren?t together. CO requires this when you file a case and if
he does it before the court asks him to, he may get a kudos form the
court! Even if not required in your state, I got the best advice ever
form my class and lots of resources too! Mine was through a company in
CO called, even though I was never married it
was just how to parent apart, but together. Good luck and I hope he
decides to stick it out and remember it's about the child, not her and
not him!
Subject: Re: unwed father's rights
From: probonopublico-ga on 07 Jun 2006 21:56 PDT
Great comment, singlemama3-ga

There's no substitute for first-hand experience.

All the Very Best

Subject: Re: unwed father's rights
From: irlandes-ga on 11 Jun 2006 16:57 PDT
UM, lots of good stuff, and I agree with most of it. However, before
anyone believes that his child support payments are also based on his
wife's income, had better check it out carefully. That nonsense was
tried in the 80s, and lost big time.  I will say that if such a change
has occurred, checking it out will show you so, but frankly, I really
doubt it.  To make a woman responsible for her husband's child
support, which is what this is saying, violates her constitutional
rights, and so the courts have consistently ruled.  If someone has
such a legal ruling, please give us the source.

Many people sneer at the traditional view that sex should wait until
marriage, but zillions of such cases show the wisdom of such
traditional codes of behavior.  Everyone suffers, man, woman, and

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