10/82 Revised 01/17/18 Training Completed 01/31/18
Attempt to contact the mother to determine if the mother and alleged father will cooperate in establishing paternity. If the mother and father will cooperate, arrange genetic testing for the mother, father, and the child(ren) at no cost, and/or have them sign an administrative Stipulation and Order: Paternity and Child Support.
If you learn the alleged father and the mother are living together, call the IV-A Department of Workforce Services (DWS) office immediately to inform DWS, if DWS is not already aware of the living arrangement. Arrange for genetic testing at no cost to the mother and alleged father and/or ask the mother and father to sign an administrative Stipulation and Order: Paternity and Child Support. If the mother and father sign the stipulation, send a copy to the DWS office. DWS will then redetermine the eligibility of the household for IV-A assistance.
In order for a IV-A recipient to continue to receive cash or medical assistance for herself, she must cooperate with the Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS) in providing the real, verifiable name of the alleged father (or fathers). If the custodial parent (CP) does not provide the real name of the alleged father, proceed with non-cooperation procedures on the case.
If you find that the mother and/or the alleged father will not cooperate in voluntarily establishing paternity, and administrative or judicial action may be needed, arrange an interview in the office with the mother. Schedule the appointment by contacting the mother by telephone or by sending the “Mother Appointment Letter.” If the mother is unable to travel to the CSS location, send her the necessary forms. Monitor the case for the return of any forms that require her signature.
If the child has not yet been born when the mother is referred to CSS, wait until after the birth of the child to conduct the paternity interview and to have the mother complete the necessary paternity paperwork.
If the child is living with a specified relative and you need information about the alleged father, you may attempt to arrange an appointment with the mother. The specified relative may also be present.
Take the steps listed below when conducting the interview with the mother.
1. Because of the sensitivity of the issue, conduct the interview tactfully and privately.
2. Obtain the “Paternity Questionnaire.” Make sure the mother answers all questions as completely as possible. Have the mother sign all applicable sections of the form in front of a Notary Public and give her a copy. Do not attempt to give the mother legal advice.
3. Obtain the “Affidavit of Affiliation.” Make sure the mother signs the form in front of a Notary Public and provide her with a copy.
4. If the alleged father lives in another State and an interstate referral will be required, the applicant on the case will need to obtain the following:
a. Declaration in Support of Establishing Parentage form; and,
b. General Testimony form.
5. If you learn that the mother commenced a paternity action before her case with CSS was opened, obtain the civil number, when and where the case was filed, her attorney's name, etc., and refer the case to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to join in that action. Remind the mother that the state's attorneys do not represent her and do not deal with issues involving parent-time, custody, or name changes for the child. She must obtain separate legal counsel for these matters.
After completing the interview with the mother, follow the procedures in Volume 2 Paternity and Order Establishment Sections to obtain a support order.
NOTE: In some cases, civil or criminal action may be brought against the mother for aiding the alleged father in his failure to support the child (e.g., if the mother provides false information in order to prevent the state from identifying the father, establishing paternity, and collecting support). If you believe you have a case with this type of situation, carefully research and document all of the evidence in the case narrative. Then consult with the appropriate attorney about the possibility of taking legal action against the mother.