Paternity in UtahPaternity in Utah

If parents are not married a paternity action is used in order to establish custody and parent-time for both parents. Paternity can also be established through a parentage action, which is a necessary step for unmarried couples to determine custody and support of their children.If you have any doubts as to the parentage of the child, it is critical that you ask for a DNA test right away.  There are various factors which could cause the court to determine that a man is father of the child including but not limited to signing an affidavit of paternity or the man holding himself out as the father of the child. Sometimes, due to various reasons, a father has had little to no visitation with his child.  With very few exceptions, a judge will order some type of visitation at your initial Hearing.  In the meantime it will be very helpful for you as a father, and it will help the judge feel confident in granting visitation, if you have attended a parenting class.

Why Establish Paternity in Salt Lake City

Paternity matters can be sensitive and emotional which is why it is important to establish paternity for unmarried individuals. It is important to establish paternity for custody rights and the paying of child support. It is possible for a father to receive custody many  years ago there was a presumption that children, especially young children, should be with the mother.  However, the presumption now is that in most cases it is important for a child to have significant time with both parents.  Whether a father gets equal time or custody depends on what is in the best interest of the child.

Child Support in Paternity Cases

Utah law is clear that both parents have a duty to provide financial support for their children.  Utah uses a formula which combines the gross income of both parents and then calculates a child support amount based on the combined income.  Several other factors are used in the child support calculation including court ordered child support paid for prior born children, work or school related daycare, and gross income for almost all sources.


If you are in Salt Lake or Utah County we encourage you to contact Garner Law for an initial consultation where you’ll receive general divorce advice.