Asking for genetic testing
Genetic testing can determine whether or not a man is the father of a child. A court order for genetic testing is not required if both parties will voluntarily take the test.
A Motion for Genetic testing asks the court to order a party to be tested if they refuse or refuse to allow the child to be tested.
This process is available only for parties in a case that has already been filed in a Utah district court. A person cannot use this process to start a court case.
Cases in which paternity could be an issue include divorce, parentage (specifically, paternity) or judicial recognition of a relationship as a marriage.
Utah Code 78B-15-501 et seq.
As part of the motion, the party asking for genetic testing must explain why they think one of the parties is or is not the biological father. The motion should explain:
- why the sexual contact between the parties makes paternity probable, or
- that there was no sexual contact, or
- why the sexual contact, if any, did not result in conception.
Filing the Motion for Genetic Testing
Forms to file a Motion for Genetic Testing are available in the Forms section below. File the motion in the same court that is handling the underlying case (the divorce, parentage, paternity or judicial recognition of a relationship as a marriage case).
Judges may rule on all motions in all types of cases. However, in Judicial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, commissioners are assigned to hear most matters in divorce cases and several other types of family law cases. Motions decided by a judge and motions decided by a commissioner follow different procedures.
If you are not sure whether your case is assigned to a judge or commissioner, find out. Call the court, or look at the caption of the complaint or petition. If a commissioner's name has been listed in the caption, the motion likely will be decided by a commissioner.
Motions decided by a judge are governed by URCP 7. A judge will not rule on a motion until the time for filing an opposition to the motion has passed and a Request to Submit for Decision has been filed.
Motions decided by a commissioner are governed by URCP 101.
See the Motions web page for information about the difference in procedures and timelines depending on who is deciding the motion.
If the court orders genetic testing
If the court grants the Motion for Genetic Testing (or if the parties agree to testing), the parties must choose a laboratory for testing and make arrangements to pay for the cost of testing.
Choosing the laboratory
The parties are responsible for finding an accredited laboratory to complete the genetic testing. Two agencies that can provide accreditation to a laboratory are:
Utah Code 78B-15-503.
Costs for genetic testing
The initial costs for court-ordered testing are usually paid by the person asking for the test. However, the court can order either party to pay for the test or order the parties to split the costs. The parties can also decide between themselves who will pay.
Testing an unborn child
A judge cannot order genetic testing on an unborn child. A judge can order the test be conducted after the child is born.
Results of genetic testing
The law assumes that a man is the biological father of a child if a genetic testing report shows he has a 99% probability of paternity and a combined paternity index of at least 100 to 1. Utah Code 78B-15-505.
If the results of genetic testing confirm that a man is the biological father of a child the case will proceed and the court will eventually enter an order confirming the father-child relationship.
If the results of genetic testing confirm the man is not the biological father of the child, there are a few possible outcomes.
The court considers more than the test results
Even though a paternity test shows a man is the not the biological father of a child, the court can ignore the test results. If the court determines that, considering the best interests of the child, the man historically acted as the father to the child or if doing so would disrupt the father-child relationship the court has the power to ignore the test results. The court would then enter an order confirming the man as the legal father of the child.
Utah Code 78B-15-608.
Motion for Summary Judgment to Declare Non-Parentage After Genetic Testing
If the genetic test indicates that a man is not the biological father of the child and the judge accepts the results, either party can file a Motion for Summary Judgment to Declare Non-Parentage After Genetic Testing to ask the judge to make a decision on the case.
The Motion for Summary Judgment to Declare Non-Parentage After Genetic Testing could end the entire case, or it might just remove one child from the case.
Forms to file a Motion for Summary Judgment to Declare Non-Parentage After Genetic Testing are available in the Forms section below. Choose the correct forms based on whether or not the case is before a judge or a commissioner. See the Motions web page for information about the difference in procedures and timelines depending on who is deciding the motion.
Changing a birth certificate
The court can order that a father be added or removed from a child's birth certificate as part of an order granting summary judgment. However, the Utah Office of Vital Records may require that the order contain specific information in order to change the birth certificate. More information required by the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics to make changes to birth certificates is available on the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistic's website.
Use OCAP to prepare the documents, or use the forms below.
The forms you need depend on your case. What is your case about?