ESTABLISHMENT OF PATERNITY
10/96 Revised 06/01/18 Training Completed 06/15/18
UCA 26-2-5, 62A-11-304.2, 78-45g-107, 78-45g-601, 602, 78-45g-620
NOTE: CIC-specific procedures contained in this section.
The Office of Recovery Services/Child Children in Care (ORS/CIC) has authority to establish paternity through the administrative process under the Utah Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA). Per Utah Code Annotated 62A-11-304.2:
“(1) Through an adjudicative
proceeding the office may issue or modify an administrative order that:
(a) determines paternity;
(b) determines whether an obligor owes support;
(c) determines temporary orders of child support upon clear and convincing evidence of paternity in the form of genetic test results or other evidence;
(d) requires an obligor to pay a specific or determinable amount of present and future support;
(e) determines the amount of past-due support;
(f) orders an obligor who owes past-due support and is obligated to support a child receiving public assistance to participate in appropriate work activities if the obligor is unemployed and is not otherwise incapacitated;
(g) imposes a penalty authorized under this chapter;
(h) determines an issue that may be specifically contested under this chapter by a party who timely files a written request for an adjudicative proceeding with the office; and
(i) renews an administrative judgment.”
CIC will use the administrative process to establish paternity when possible. CIC provides services for children in state care based on an application for IV-D services filed by the Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS). Paternity establishment is included with IV-D services, regardless of whether it has been specifically ordered by the Juvenile Court in conjunction with child support services.
NOTE: Do not use the UAPA process to establish paternity or a child support order against an unemancipated minor.
If paternity has been legally established (adjudicated, presumed or declarant fathers), and that father is referred to ORS in the Juvenile Court order, CIC will proceed to establish an administrative order for the named father.
Procedures – Administrative
Paternity Establishment Process
1. Open a CIC Case in ORSIS for the Alleged Father: Open a separate case on ORSIS for the mother, if one has not already been opened.
2. Identify the Alleged Father: If paternity has not been legally established for the “father” that the Juvenile Court refers to ORS, paternity must be established as part of the order establishment process.
3. Gather Paternity Information from Mother: Contact the mother to determine if she will cooperate in the establishment process. Attempt to obtain a completed Affidavit of Affiliation and Paternity Questionnaire from the mother. If the mother does not cooperate or is not available, refer the case to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) for judicial paternity establishment or for judicial establishment of a third-party order.
NOTE: The mother may be the only parent known to the Juvenile Court and referred to ORS/CIC. Even in this case, attempt to contact the mother and obtain enough information (i.e., paternity forms) to pursue paternity establishment for the child(ren), regardless of whether the Juvenile Court has addressed paternity issues or establishment in its order. Document your attempts to obtain this information in the case narratives.
4. Genetic Testing Prior to Notice of Agency Action (NAA): If paternity establishment has specifically been ordered by Juvenile Court, you may contact the alleged father to arrange for genetic testing prior to serving an NAA. However, you may also serve the NAA as the initial contact and offer testing as part of that process. If the alleged father will not cooperate with genetic testing, contact the caseworker at the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) or the Division of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS). The caseworker will request a Juvenile Court hearing to inform the judge of the alleged father’s non-cooperation.
a. Alleged Father Excluded: If the alleged father is excluded as the father. Refer the case to the AGO to notify the court that the court-named alleged father has been excluded. The AGO will present the results to the Juvenile Court. If the court orders that the excluded father is financially responsible despite the genetic tests, the AGO will pursue judicial establishment of the support amount as a third-party obligor case. Send a copy of the test results to the appropriate. If the court relieves the excluded consort of financial responsibility, begin case closure procedures.
b. Alleged Father Not Excluded: Prepare the Notice of Agency Action: Paternity and Child Support form if you have enough information to proceed administratively; otherwise, refer the case to the AGO for judicial establishment.
5. Prepare the NAA: Include options indicating that genetic testing has already been completed or that genetic tests are scheduled. If testing has not been completed, schedule a genetic testing appointment for the alleged father and prepare the appropriate testing letters.
6. Maintain a Paper Copy of the NAA: The agent will keep a copy of the NAA packet signed by the Presiding Officer (PO) until service on the respondent(s) is successful.
7. Personally Serve the Alleged Father: You must personally serve the alleged father with the NAA packet when paternity is an issue. Use constable, sheriff, ORS process server, or ORS employee over the age of 21 to personally serve the alleged father. ORS employees may only serve the NAA if they do not and will not be involved in the case, and the alleged father is in the ORS office. The NAA must be served on the alleged father; it cannot be served on another member of the household. Do NOT use certified mail to serve the father when paternity is an issue.
8. Monitor for Service to be Returned and Imaged. Returned certified mail will be imaged and sent to you mailbox.
NOTE: The alleged father may sign an Acknowledgment of Receipt of Notice of Agency Action and of Acceptance of Service form instead of being personally served. It is also possible to serve a participant in the ORS office using the Return of Service: Document Served by ORS Employee form.
9. Forward the NAA Packet to the Central Imaging Unit (CIU).
Options after Service of Notice of Agency Action – Paternity and Child Support
After the alleged father is served with the CIC-NAPT, he may choose any of the options below:
1. The alleged father may acknowledge paternity by signing an administrative Stipulation Order: Paternity and Child Support form at any time. Include current support and any arrears that may be owed as of the date of the NAA in the administrative stipulation. If the alleged father is unable to sign the stipulation in the office, send a copy of the stipulation and signature page to him along with the Stipulation Cover Letter.
2. The alleged father may submit to genetic tests.
a. After a genetic testing sample has been taken from the alleged father, attempt to schedule the mother (if available) and the child for genetic tests. Send the appropriate testing letters for each party and involve the referring agency in arranging the child’s testing appointment if needed.
b. U.C.A. 78B-15-614(2) states:
“If an individual whose paternity is being determined fails to submit to genetic testing ordered by the tribunal, the tribunal for that reason may adjudicate parentage contrary to the position of that individual.”
If the alleged father does not appear for genetic testing, and there are no other possible consorts, issue a Default Order: Paternity and Child Support form 30 days after the alleged father was served.
c. After you receive the imaged test results and the alleged father is NOT excluded, send the alleged father the Genetic Test Results Not Excluded To Father form by regular mail to the address the NAA was served. Print a copy of the test results to include with the. Notify the mother of the tests results by sending her the Genetic Test Results Not Excluded To Mother letter with a printed copy of the test results. Notify the referring agency of the test results by sending the Genetic Test Results Not Excluded To Agency form. If the alleged father moves after being served the original NAA, proof is needed to verify that he received the genetic test results before an order can be issued. You may use certified mail or constable service on a case-by-case basis to verify that the test results letter and test results were received. If the alleged father does not respond to the letter, issue an Order: Paternity and Child Support form 30 days after the letters were sent.
d. If the alleged father is excluded by the test results, refer the case to the AGO to notify the court that the court-named alleged father has been excluded. The AGO will present the results to the Juvenile Court. If the court orders that the excluded father is financially responsible despite the genetic tests, the AGO will pursue judicial establishment of the support amount as a third-party obligor case. Send a copy of the test results to the appropriate parties. If the court relieves the excluded consort of financial responsibility, begin case closure procedures.
3. If the alleged father responds to the NAA, but does not sign a stipulation or request a hearing, issue a Participation Order: Paternity and Child Support form for current support and any arrears, if appropriate.
4. If the alleged father does not respond to the NAA, issue a Default Order: Paternity and Child Support form.
5. The alleged father may request a judicial hearing. If the alleged father requests a judicial hearing, make a referral to the AGO for paternity and order establishment.
Filing Administrative Orders
All administrative orders of paternity must be filed with the State Case Registry which is found on ORSIS. If the child was born in Utah, also complete the Notice of Adjudication of Paternity form.
Low Income or Means-tested Income Waiver
U.C.A. 78A-6-1106 states:
“(12) After the court or the office establishes an individual’s child support obligation ordered under Subsection (3), the office shall waive the obligation without further order of the court if:
(a) the individual’s child support obligation is established under Subsection 78B-12-205(6) or Section 78B-12-302; or
(b) the individual’s only source of income is a means-tested, income replacement payment of aid, including:
(i) cash assistance provided under Title 35A, Chapter3, Part 3, Family Employment Program; or
(ii) cash benefits received under General Assistance, social security income, or social security disability income.”
Pursuant to U.C.A. 78A-6-1106(12), once the child support order has been established for the case and the case meets the following criteria, it is no longer enforceable under state law when:
1. The order is a Utah minimum order ($30 or less);
2. The low income table was used to determine current support; or,
3. The NCP’s only source of income is a means-tested, income replacement including:
a. FEP (Family Employment Program (formerlyreferred to as TANF)); or,
b. GA (General Assistance);
c. SSI (Supplemental Security Income); or,
d. SSDI (Social Security Disablility Income).
NOTE: If it has been determined that the NCP’s only source of income is SSI, an order does not need to be established and the case must be closed.