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Salt Lake City Paternity Attorney

The law in Utah recognizes that a father has the same parental rights and responsibilities as a mother. However, in certain situations, a father must legally establish his paternity to have these parental rights. When two parents are not married at the time of conception or birth, it will be necessary for the father to establish paternity to receive child custody rights. In addition, a mother will have to establish paternity to receive a court order for child support from the father.

In either of these situations, it is important to consult with an experienced Salt Lake City family law attorney who understands your options in paternity actions. At CoilLaw, LLC, we have helped many parents and children effectively establish paternity and handle all legal matters that may result from paternity action. CoilLaw is your Salt Lake City Paternity Attorney law firm to help you in all of these matters.

Ways To Establish Legal Paternity

How you can establish legal paternity will depend on many different factors, including whether both parents are cooperative or whether paternity is disputed by one of the parents. The following are the two main methods of establishing paternity:

  • Voluntary Declaration of Paternity — If both parents agree on paternity, they can sign a form, have the signing witnessed by two others, and file the form with the office of the Department of Health’s Vital Records and Statistics. The Department will process the form and add the legal father’s name to the birth certificate.
  • Judicial proceedings — If paternity is disputed or cannot be established voluntarily, the father, mother, or child can initiate court proceedings to determine paternity by filing a Petition to Adjudicate Paternity. A DNA test may be requested and the court will decide whether or not to establish paternity based on the evidence.

Implications Of Establishing Paternity

If you believe you are the father of a child, establishing legal paternity will allow you to have custody or visitation rights. If you are facing potential custody proceedings, you should always have an attorney who fully understands Salt Lake City child custody laws and who can protect your rights to have a meaningful relationship with your child.

Drafting a realistic parenting plan takes experience and care. Our firm has seen what types of parenting plans work—and which ones don’t. Ideally, your plan should help you avoid unnecessary conflict, especially regarding make-up visitation when a child gets sick and the costs associated with transportation. Parents often fight over phone calls and invitations to birthdays or other events. Without the right plan, parents can find themselves right back in court in a matter of months, and everyone’s stress levels are high. That’s not ideal.

Once paternity is established, parents will face some limitations. For example, if you have custody, you cannot choose to move out of state or any substantial distance without court approval. A judge might change the visitation schedule or even modify custody if the move would not be in the child’s best interests. These are issues to talk about with an attorney as you seek to establish paternity. For example, a mother might seek to establish paternity to get the father to pay support. In doing so, however, she might be tying her hands in the future.

Legal paternity also comes with obligations to provide financial support for your child. If you are the custodial parent of a child whose legal paternity was recently established, you may be entitled to monthly child support payments. Salt Lake City child support determinations are made by the family courts in line with state guidelines and a qualified family law attorney can help ensure that a child support order is fair in your case.

The guidelines have standardized the child support process, but judges often retain discretion, especially if you have a high income or your child has unique needs. You need a lawyer who is well-versed in the child support guidelines. Once paternity is established, a judge will move quickly to set up a child support obligation. The state is not interested in supporting a child when a parent is in the wings with a checkbook and a bank account.

If you are a man facing a paternity action, call our law firm. Ultimately, a DNA test will conclusively establish your relationship with a child. But you want an advocate who can protect you from being unfairly burdened with excessive child support.

Why Should You Pick CoilLaw?

CoilLaw has deep Utah roots. Our founder, Jill L. Coil, grew up in Utah and is proud to make the state her home. She has assembled a team of lawyers and professionals who are truly dedicated to our client’s growth and future.

Family law requires a unique skill set. In addition to staying abreast of constant legal change, the best attorneys help clients make personal, individualized choices about their futures. This requires skill at listening to our clients’ hopes and fears and answering their questions in an easy-to-understand way.

If you are involved in a paternity dispute, know that CoilLaw has your back. Whether to voluntarily acknowledge paternity or require a lawsuit is a consequential choice. Fathers must financially support their children until they reach adulthood, even if they aren’t eager to be a part of that child’s life. And it’s cumbersome to get child support modified later.

CoilLaw has positioned itself as a leader for the 21st Century. As Utah’s families change, our practice continues to adapt so that we remain ahead of the curve. We have written the book on Utah divorce, and are happy to guide you through paternity and other family law-related issues.


Consult With A Salt Lake City Paternity Attorney Today

The family court system can be complicated and confusing and it is imperative to have the assistance of a skilled attorney every step of the way. The attorneys at CoilLaw, LLC are qualified to handle a wide range of Salt Lake City domestic litigation matters, from paternity to custody and support to divorce, and more.

Attorney Jill L. Coil has helped many mothers and fathers protect their parental rights and obligations, so please call our office today at (801) 884-3775 for assistance.


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