How Does Paternity Factor Into A Child Custody Case?

paternity Question:

My wife and I are filing for divorce. She has some serious drug issues and I do not feel she is fit to take care of our daughter.

However, she keeps threatening to get a paternity order. Although I am not the biological father, I have been involved in the girl’s life since she was born and love her very much.

Does my wife have a case against me and can she actually have her taken away?

Answer:

I am not licensed to practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information concerning child custody and paternity.

Utah divorce lawyer
Utah divorce attorney Dena L. Morgan

In the State of Utah, where I am licensed to practice, when a child is born to a woman, that woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of the child. The husband has all of the legal rights and responsibilities of fatherhood until something changes that.

The question in your case is what happened when your daughter was born? Was your name put on the birth certificate by virtue of your marriage to the mother? Or did the two of you admit that the child was not biologically yours?

If that is the case, did the hospital staff have you sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity in order to get your name on the birth certificate? These are all things that will factor into what your rights are and what rights you have to your daughter in a divorce action.

The outcome of your case will also depend on how long you have been married. The longer you have been acting as this young girl’s father, the more the court may be persuaded to give you custody of her so that she is not separated from her siblings and if the court feels that the custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child(ren).

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general child custody tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to how the laws in Utah impact your specific circumstances.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Utah divorce lawyer Dena L. Morgan, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on CordellCordell.com, CordellCordell.co.uk, and DadsDivorce.com, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

3 comments on “How Does Paternity Factor Into A Child Custody Case?

    Please tell me I have hope. My husband and I have been fighting a lot my child have seen this in the past but not recently. State issue a ofp do to myself and children’s safety. Child have never been abused or negeleted by there father. I was given services from a social worker to attend therapy and phyicology for only 4 weeks then say I was unsusseful will treatment CNN

    Please tell me I have hope. My husband and I have been fighting a lot my child have seen this in the past but not recently. State issue a ofp do to myself and children’s safety. Child have never been abused or negeleted by there father. I was given services from a social worker to attend therapy and phyicology for only 4 weeks then saying in court hearing I was unsusseful with getting help. Force me to take drug test or removing my children from the home. She didn’t know my brother was in his room listening and her 28 years old and can testify for that . Then removed my kids from school without letting me know and worrying about them not coming home and refused to talk to me and let me know where they we’re. My brother ask kindly to please call back to let us know where the children were and never returned are calls. I was never told when the hearing court was and wasbtold the wrong day to try and get me to miss court on perpuse so the none costoden parents can gain full custody to both children even when one isn’t blood related his and not DNA father. Help me please

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