Idaho Paternity Law
This information about Idaho paternity legal statutes is provided for general use only. Journey Genetic Testing does not provide legal advice or representation. We encourage you to research your state laws for the most current information, or contact a family law attorney.
Idaho Paternity Law: Chapter 3
3.1 Paternity Establishment In Idaho
There are three (3) ways to establish paternity in Idaho:
Through a judicial proceeding i.e. paternity order or divorce decree.
Through a voluntary acknowledgment filed with a state’s Vital Statistics Unit. To verify the dates of when Idaho CSS recognized the Acknowledgment of Paternity as a finding of paternity See Section 3.3.2 of this chapter.
Through marriage. The husband is presumed to be the father based on the marriage if:
The parents are married at the time of the child’s conception.
The parents are married at the time of the child’s birth.
The parents subsequently marry and sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity or Subsequent Marriage and Surname of Child (HWH0142). This acknowledgment must be filed with Vital Statistics to be valid.
The father can rebut the presumption of paternity at the time of litigation to establish support. This means that if he contacts CSS and says he is not the father &endash; CSS must notify the attorney the AF wants testing.
See Section 3.2 for definitions of presumptive and conclusive findings of paternity.
3.1.1 Judicial Proceedings
A judicial proceeding to establish paternity begins by filing a summons and complaint with the Clerk of the District Court. Copies of these documents are served on the Alleged Father AF who may file an answer with the Clerk of the District Court within twenty (20) days. (The CP in these actions is also served.) Depending on the response of the AF, who has been properly served with the summons and complaint, three (3) general courses of action can be initiated:
If the AF does not file an answer with the court or otherwise respond within the twenty (20) day answer period, a default order that contains filiation language can be requested which establishes the AF as the legal father. See Section 3.9.6 Default Order for more details.
If the AF responds and is willing to admit paternity, he can sign a stipulation which must be approved by a judge, acknowledging that he is the father of the child.
If the AF responds with a denial of paternity, CSS will schedule genetic testing.
See Section 3.4.3 regarding filiation language to determine if an order actually establishes paternity for a child.
See Sections 3.4 through 3.7 for more detailed information on the judicial process.
3.1.2 Voluntary Acknowledgments
A Voluntary Acknowledgment provides a way to establish paternity through administrative process. The ability to establish paternity in this manner is required by Federal Code of Regulations (CFR). Paternity can be voluntarily acknowledged:
By both of the parents signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity or Subsequent Marriage and Surname of Child form (HWH0142);
– OR –
By both of the parents signing Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit form (HWHP001). To verify the dates of when Idaho CSS recognized the Acknowledgment of Paternity as a finding of paternity See Section 3.3.2 of this chapter;
– OR –
By the mother and biological father and the legal father all signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit form (HWHP001) (3rd Party Acknowledgment).
In Idaho, the signed Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavits are filed with Idaho Vital Statistics. (07/14/99)
See Section 3.8 for more detailed information on the acknowledgment process.
3.1.3 Marriage Or Subsequent Marriage
Children born within a marriage are considered to have a rebuttable presumption of paternity. ”Within a marriage” means that the child was conceived or born after the date of the marriage and before a divorce decree is entered. A divorce does not automatically remove the presumption of paternity. If conception occurred prior to the divorce the presumption of paternity remains intact.
Judy is married to Dale on 10/25/87. Junior is born on 10/15/95. They are divorced on 6/15/95 and the divorce decree is silent (makes no reference to the unborn at all) or states ”r;there were no children born of the marriage”. Dale is the rebuttable presumed father of the child because the child was conceived while the couple was still married, (the end of January 1995 according to the paternity wheel). Language stating that there were no children born of the marriage does not constitute exclusion because it does not specifically reference the unborn child.
EXAMPLE #2: Judy is married to Dale on 10/25/87. Junior is born on 10/15/95. They are divorced on 6/15/95 and the divorce decree specifically states that the unborn is not his child. Even though the child was conceived while the couple was still married, (January 1995), Dale is excluded as the father of the child; the paternity issue has been adjudicated.
Subsequent marriage means the child was born before the date of marriage and alone does not conclusively establish paternity. Children born before the marriage are considered to have a rebuttable presumption of paternity when a subsequent marriage occurs.
Other considerations apply when determining if the subsequent marriage has conclusively established paternity:
The CP must not have been married to another man prior to conception or birth of the child; and
Both parties must sign a Subsequent Marriage Affidavit and that affidavit must be filed with Vital Statistics;
– OR –
A paternity order is established.
Idaho Subsequent Marriage statute provides no statutory limit on how long after the birth of the child the couple gets married creates a presumptive establishment of paternity. Also, no guidance is given to determine if the man the CP marries is the biological father of the child or if he is willing to accept the role as the father. Because the language in the Subsequent Marriage statute is so vague, CSS will not accept a subsequent marriage as an establishment of paternity unless:
The couple signs an Acknowledgment of Paternity or Subsequent Marriage and Surname of Child (HWH0142). This acknowledgment must be filed with Vital Statistics to be valid;
– OR –
Paternity is established through a judicial proceeding i.e. paternity order or divorce decree.
If the couple later divorces and the divorce decree contains filiation language, conclusive paternity has been established. See Section 3.4.3 for acceptable filiation language. CSS will provide genetic testing if the AF refuses to sign the Acknowledgment of Subsequent Marriage. For further information on when CSS will provide genetic testing See Section 3.11
If the couple chooses to complete the Acknowledgment of Paternity or Subsequent Marriage and Surname of Child form (HWH0142) the husband’s name will be added onto the birth certificate and establish a conclusive finding of paternity without court action.
If the child was born in Idaho and the parents were married in Idaho, the Acknowledgment of Paternity or Subsequent Marriage and Surname of Child form (HWH0142) must be filed with Idaho Vital Statistics to add dad’s name to the birth certificate.
If the parents were married in another state or country, a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate must accompany the Acknowledgment form.
If the child was born in another state and the parents were married in a state or country other than where the child was born, both the Acknowledgment of Paternity or Subsequent Marriage and Surname of Child form (HWH0142) and a copy of the Marriage Certificate must be filed with the child’s birth state Vital Statistics.
If paternity is conclusively established via a court order, the Court Determination of Paternity, provided to the attorney will be sent to Vital Statistics in the birth state of the child. The Vital Statistics in the birth state of the child will enter the father’s name on the birth certificate.
3.2 Presumptive VS. Conclusive Paternity Establishment
There are two (2) categories of paternity recognized in Idaho:
Presumptive: rebuttable until a conclusive finding is made, becomes conclusive within a specified timeframe under Idaho law, or is rescinded. This means that Idaho law allows the alleged ’bio’ or ’legal (by marriage)’ father to contest the presumption of paternity in court . CSS will provide genetic testing in these circumstances if it’s in the best interest of the child without being ordered to do so. Excluding a father, either bio or legal, is not considered disestablishment while paternity is still a rebuttable presumption.
Conclusive: a non-rebuttable finding of paternity under Idaho law. This includes default paternity orders. This means that the alleged father would have to bring a motion and present compelling evidence of good cause and hope the court allows the challenge of paternity. If CSS is a party or intervener in the court action, CSS will present evidence that paternity has already been conclusively established. CSS will provide genetic testing if court ordered to do so. Reversal of a conclusive establishment constitutes disestablishment and CSS will not voluntarily participate in these actions. CSS Default paternity orders are a conclusive finding of paternity, however CSS may provide genetic testing if the order is less than six (6) months old. See Section 3.11 for further information regarding genetic testing. If conclusive paternity is already documented in the case file, the CSS worker can proceed with the establishment of a child support order. See Chapter 4, Establishment (3/1/05)
Examples of rebuttable presumptions of paternity are:
Paternity Acknowledgments filed prior to 7/1/96. Acknowledgments filed prior to 7/1/96 had no designated rescission period and can be disputed at any time during the child’s minority. This acknowledgment provided a presumption of paternity allowing CSS to establish a support order (without establishing paternity). If disputed (at any time during the child’s minority) CSS is required to establish a conclusive finding of paternity. (7/3/07)
Paternity Acknowledgment that was rescinded during the allowable rescission period. See Section 3.3.2 ”When You Are Not Required To Establish Paternity” for allowable rescission periods.
A divorce decree that does not specifically name the child and the child/parent relationship and does not order child support.
A child born within a legal marriage when either the mother or father alleges the legal, rebuttable presumed, father is not the biological father. The claim of non-paternity, by either party, constitutes a request for testing. Either party has the right to request genetic testing under Idaho law. CSS does not need to be court ordered to provide genetic testing when paternity is still a rebuttable presumption. Properly documented, these legal presumptions can be used as the basis in a court action for paternity establishment.
EXAMPLE: The Acknowledgment of Paternity or Subsequent MarriageAffidavit is, signed but not filed, or is signed and filed on 6/20/93. This affidavit is evidence of paternity and can take the place of a Filiation Affidavit. The same would apply to a copy of a marriage certificate in the case of a subsequent marriage.
Examples of conclusive establishment of paternity are:
An order of filiation from any court with appropriatejurisdiction.
Default paternity orders entered in Idaho that are more than six (6) months old.
Default paternity orders entered out-of-state have different time limits according to the other state’s laws. CSS should check the IRG on the OCSE website to determine the time limits under that state’s laws.
Administrative paternity orders from other states.
Idaho Paternity Acknowledgments, file with Vital Statistics, whose sixty (60) day rescission period has lapsed. To verify the dates of when Idaho CSS recognized the Acknowledgment of Paternity as a finding of paternity See Section 3.3.2 of this chapter.
A subsequent marriage with a Subsequent Marriage Affidavit filed with Vital Statistics.
A divorce decree that specifically names the child. See Section 3.4.3 Filiation Language of this chapter for more detailed information.
Child Support Services is required to document how paternity was established. For more information on the required documentation and what is acceptable, see Unit 28, Data Integrity. (3/1/05)
Required Probability of Paternity for Idaho Courts: 98%
Required Paternity Index: None
For a list of locations where we provide an approved paternity test in Idaho, please click Paternity Testing In Idaho.