8.2 - Paternity

Federal Authority:

Social Security Act

§454(20) -  State plan for child support and spousal support

§466(a)(2), (c), and (d) Requirement of statutorily prescribed procedures to improve effectiveness of child support enforcement

§468 - Encouragement of States to adopt simple civil process for voluntary acknowledging paternity and a civil procedure for       establishing paternity in contested cases


Code of Federal Regulations

45 CFR 302.31 Establishing paternity and securing support

45 CFR 303.5 Establishing of paternity

45 CFR 303.7 Provision of services in intergovernmental IV-D cases

45 CFR 303.101 Expedited processes

State Authority:


Wyoming Statutes

Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-401 et. seq. Parents

Wyo. Stat. § 20-4-142 Basis for jurisdiction over nonresident

Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-401 et. seq. Medical Support


Wyoming Child Support Enforcement Rules

Chapter 4, General Services


Wyoming Vital Records Services Rules

Chapter 3, Birth Registration

Chapter 4, Substitution of Birth Certificates

Policy Number:  8.2

Effective Date:  October 1, 2010

Section

This section contains the following sub-sections:

Overview

Paternity establishment is the legal determination of fatherhood for a child born out of wedlock.  In order to best serve Wyoming Child Support Program (CSP) customers, paternity should always be established for children born out of wedlock.  Even if child and medical support are not at issue because the parents live together, paternity should be established for the following important reasons:

In the Wyoming CSP, paternity may be established in one of the following ways:

1) Unrebutted presumption of paternity (See 8.2.1 Paternity - Presumption for details);

2) Valid paternity acknowledgment (See 8.2.2 Paternity - Voluntary Acknowledgment for details); or

3) Adjudication (See 8.2.4 Paternity - Adjudication for details).

During case assessment, the case worker will determine if paternity is at issue.  See 6.5 Case Assessment for paternity proof determination steps and required documents.

While the Wyoming CSP recognizes paternity establishment based upon presumption, adoption, or assisted reproduction, the IV-D child support program facilitates paternity establishment through two of the following methods: (1) the voluntary paternity acknowledgment program and (2) adjudication.  

Unless paternity is established through the paternity acknowledgment process, paternity shall be established in Wyoming through the District Court.  Wyoming statutes provide the process the Wyoming CSP shall follow in order to legally establish paternity.  

Note:  The paternity establishment method needs to be documented in POSSE in accordance with Appendix 8.B – PEP Data Reliability Review, POSSE Release Notes 1792 – Born-out-of-wedlock flag, and POSSE Release Notes 1831 – State Where Paternity Established field.

The table below provides the paternity establishment methods along with the timeframes for establishment, rescission, challenge, or denial of paternity:

Table 1: Paternity Establishment & Timeframes

Note:  Paternity shall be established before child or medical support can be ordered by a Wyoming District Court.

Jurisdiction

If paternity is at issue, the case worker will determine if Wyoming has jurisdiction to establish paternity or if another state has jurisdiction.  According to statute, Wyoming has jurisdiction to establish paternity if the alleged father:

1) Is served within Wyoming; 

2) Submits to jurisdiction by general appearance or filing a responsive pleading;

3) Resided with the child in Wyoming;

4) Resided in Wyoming and provided prenatal expenses of support for the child;

5) Caused the child to reside in Wyoming;

6) Engaged in sexual intercourse with the mother in Wyoming and the child may have been conceived in Wyoming;

7) Asserted parentage; or

8) Any other constitutional basis for personal jurisdiction.

Venue

Venue describes the appropriate court to bring certain legal actions.  According to statute and if Wyoming has jurisdiction to establish paternity, a paternity action may be brought in District Court in the county where:

Note: Full faith and credit shall be given to a determination of paternity made by any other State whether through a voluntary acknowledgment process or an administrative or judicial order.

Version Number:  1

Last Revised Date:  July 1, 2014

Last Reviewed:  July 1, 2014