What You Need to Know About Fathers' Rights in Utah

How do I establish Paternity?

There are three main scenarios that each follow different methods for establishing paternity: • The spouse is considered as the father (the default) • The child is born to an unmarried mother • The mother denies the paternity or there are multiple claims of fatherhood

How do I establish Part Paternity? (Part 2)

First scenario. In Utah, the law assumes a child born during a marriage is the husband’s child.  Typically, both parents will sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP) at the hospital at the time of the birth. Once filed with the Department of Health, the VDP establishes you as the biological and legal father.

How do I establish Part Paternity? (Part 3)

Second scenario. If the child is born to an unmarried mother, there are three ways: • The father can still sign a VDP to establish paternity rights. • Either parent, the child, or the State of Utah can file a court case requesting a paternity judgment.  • If either parent applies to the Office of Recovery Services (ORS), that office can verify paternity. 

How do I establish Part Paternity? (Part 4)

Third scenario. If the mother denies a man’s claims or multiple men make claims of fatherhood, genetic testing through DNA can be used to establish paternity.

Genetic Testing

DNA evidence is not required to establish paternity if you and the mother agree that you are the parent and use one of the other methods of establishing paternity. For scenarios such as when the father is deceased, or when another man has already established paternity, refer to the full article.

Do fathers have fewer or different rights than mothers?

No. House Bill 88 says that the court can not discriminate against a parent due to gender. 

Do fathers have fewer or different rights than mothers? (Part 2)

The better you can highlight your healthy and active relationship with your child, the more likely you are to successfully prove that playing a significant role in the life of your child is in their best interest.  An experienced father rights lawyer can help you articulate and demonstrate that relationship to the court.

Can a father receive child support?

As a custodial parent, you may be entitled to child support payments, regardless of whether you are the father or mother. 

What are a father's rights?

As a father, you have the right to provide physical, emotional, and financial care for your child. The custody agreement will outline the specifics.

What are a father's responsibilities?

Legally, you can be required to provide financial support for your child.  The specifics of that will vary based on both parents’ financial circumstances and custody arrangements.

What are a father's responsibilities? (Part 2)

In general, you will likely be required to contribute to the care of your child, which includes food, clothing, shelter, and other needs. Your divorce or custody agreement may list other responsibilities. Common examples are providing medical insurance, paying for private school tuition, or paying for lessons or activity costs. 

Click on the link below to read the full article