Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Understanding a Utah administrative paternity order

As most parents can attest, life can bring with it some challenges. And some of these situations lead to legal conflicts. Utah parents that are dealing with family legal issues regarding the paternity of a child have to be aware of certain laws that are designed to help them resolve the case. When seeking to establish the legal father for the child, the Utah Administrative Procedures Act or UAPA can help toward this end.

The administrative paternity order allows state agencies to establish legal orders against individuals. These are binding through the Office of Recovery Services and allow for the collection of child support, if applicable. The judicial court system is not involved in this process, but the administrative paternity order is tantamount to an order from the court. In order to use the administrative process, one parent must apply for child support with the Office of Recovery Services.

Then the parents will be informed by the Notice of Agency Action or NAA. This has various pieces of information including a proposal of how much will be paid, medical coverage and other options. To establish paternity, the NAA will have a date at which the genetic tests will be taken or instructions to request them. If there is uncertainty about paternity, the genetic tests must be taken prior to the establishment of legal paternity. This is free at the Office of Recovery Services.

An administrative paternity order can resolve the following: legal paternity; the father's name can be placed on the birth certificate; child support can be established; and there can be a medical support order. For those who are concerned about settling a family law dispute centered around paternity, understanding an administrative paternity order can be beneficial. A lawyer can help with the case from start to finish.

Source:, "Administrative Paternity Order," accessed on Jan. 9, 2017

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