8.2.5 Paternity - Disestablishment


Paternity disestablishment is a recent phenomenon and inspires quite a bit of debate. Due to recent improvements in genetic testing that allow the accurate identification of a biological father, some presumed and adjudicated fathers have attempted to overcome presumptions or previous determinations of paternity by using genetic test results.

Effective July 1, 2005, Wyoming statutes allow for a disestablishment procedure under certain limited circumstances. Some of the major factors of the disestablishment statute include:

  • An adjudicated or acknowledged father may petition the court to disestablish paternity if:

    • The paternity order is from a Wyoming District Court (this statute does not apply to a paternity determination made by another state, tribe, or foreign country in accordance with the Uniform Intergovernmental Family Support Act (UIFSA));

    • Genetic testing was not conducted in the original adjudication or in conjunction with the paternity acknowledgment; and

    • A post-adjudication genetic test shows that the adjudicated or acknowledged father is not the biological father.

  • The disestablishment action shall be filed within the earlier of 2 years after petitioner knew or should have known paternity of the child was at issue or 2 years after the effective date of the acknowledgment or adjudication.

  • The court shall appoint an attorney to represent the best interests of the child if the court finds the best interests of the child are not adequately represented.

  • The court may order genetic testing.

  • Based upon the particular circumstances of the case, the District Court may disestablish paternity or dismiss the disestablishment action and affirm paternity.

  • If paternity is disestablished, the District Court shall enter an order that includes but is not limited to:

    • Stating disestablishment of paternity is in the best interests of the child;

    • Indicating the adjudicated father is not the biological father of the child and all parental rights and responsibilities are terminated;

    • Requiring a new birth certificate;

    • Relieving the adjudicated father of all future support; and

    • Indicating that any unpaid support is due and owing and there is no right to reimbursement of past support paid to the mother or to Wyoming.


IV-D participation in the disestablishment process is limited to facilitating genetic testing and requires the same steps as discussed in 8.2.3 Genetic Testing for private attorneys or advocating for the position and interests of the IV-D program.

Specifically, the District Child Support Program (CSP) Office will schedule genetic testing for private attorneys involved in disestablishment actions as long as the attorneys:

  • If appropriate, complete a child support application as described in 6.2 Intake Application; and

  • Provide a copy of an Order for Genetic Testing and a closure request to close the IV-D case once the genetic testing is completed.

Cross Reference


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Last Revised Date

April 29, 2020