Family Law Attorney in Utah
Paternity Specialized Representation Tailored to Your Goals

Salt Lake County Paternity Attorney

Handling Father's Rights Cases in Draper & Utah County

The legal rights of children born to married parents are automatically established at birth. However, in cases involving children born to unmarried parents, “paternity” (also referred to as “parentage”) must be established in order to formalize certain rights and responsibilities.

Paternity can be established by multiple methods of varying complexity and effort:

  1. The simplest method is when both parents sign and file a voluntary declaration of paternity.
  2. Another option is to involve Utah’s Office of Recovery Services (“ORS”) and obtain an administrative order.
  3. The final method involves filing a formal petition for paternity with the court.

Requesting an administrative order from ORS is relatively simple for the requesting party, but ORS cannot decide important provisions related to custody and parent time. ORS is limited to initiating and enforcing child support and other financial obligations between the parents. A formal court order is necessary to adopt a detailed parenting plan that includes provisions regarding parent time and parental decision making authority.

Your Parental Rights

A parenting plan will likely be the most important section in the final decree of paternity, so it’s important to get it right and be as detailed as possible. In cases involving parents who have had trouble cooperating, a parenting plan should include plenty of details that will govern the parental rights and responsibilities of the parties. For example, a parenting plan should at a minimum, allocate amounts of time the child will spend with each parent.

Parenting Plan

In the event of disagreement, courts and mediators routinely rely on default statutes that award a minimum of parent time to one of the parties. The parenting plan should also assign legal custody and specify a decision-making process in the event the parents disagree on an important decision regarding the child. Important decisions are controlled by the parent (or parents) who are given legal custody of the child. Legal custody revolves around areas such as extracurricular activities, education, religious worship, medical treatment, and access to information.

Child Support

The decree of paternity should also include sections that describe the child support obligation of the parties. Child support is calculated using a combination of factors such as the number of children, the parties’ income, and the number of nights spent with each parent. Mediation is often a helpful method of reaching a resolution to a paternity action without resorting to prolonged litigation.

Because the establishment of paternity can involve important areas such as custody and child support, parents should seek the assistance of a Salt Lake County paternity attorney to ensure their interests are aggressively protected. Call (801) 515-4133 today.

Establishing Paternity Infographic

Testimonials

Real Clients. Real Results. 
  • Amy Lee

    He is very prompt with his responses to emails and phone calls which makes the process less stressful.

  • Dalisa

    This was all so stress free. I’m extremely great full for Preston and his staff for putting forth all the time to help me out!

  • Bart

    Highly recommend Eric and Preston without reservation. Their fees are more than reasonable and their service more than expected.

  • Nicolle G.

    I have had an absolutely positive experience through and through with them. They’re professional, empathetic, and ethical. I wish ...

  • Thomas M.

    He handled all matters promptly and thoroughly. He cares deeply about his clients and makes sure their needs are fully understood.

  • Bethany

    He and his office were conscientious about my financial needs and made sure I knew when charges were going to be made, so it ...

  • Logan

    I couldn’t be more pleased with the results and would definitely recommend Eric to anyone looking for a fantastic lawyer and a ...

  • Jared H.

    All issues were handled in a very timely and transparent manner.

  • Sean K.

    Working with Eric was a breeze. He addressed my concerns and laid out several options that were unique to my situation.

  • Robin S.

    If it wasn't for Eric and Preston, I wouldn't have gotten custody of my 2 children.

Meet Our Team

Professional. Confident. Approachable.
  • Eric M. Swinyard Photo
    Eric M. Swinyard

    Founding Attorney

    Eric M. Swinyard is a litigation and small business attorney who serves clients throughout Utah and across the country. He has offices in both Salt Lake County and Utah County. Eric’s practice is focused on providing personalized, high-quality legal services to both individuals and businesses. He regularly assists clients in various practice areas , including divorce , parentage ( paternity ), adoption , debt collection, estate planning , business advice, asset protection, litigation (civil, ...
  • Ryan  Ficklin Photo
    Ryan Ficklin

    Attorney

    Ryan Ficklin is an associate attorney at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. Prior to practicing law in Utah, Ryan practiced family law in Southern California. In 2017, Ryan relocated back to his home state of Utah to focus on serving the people of Utah who need legal representation, particularly in the family law realm. Ryan graduated with honors from California’s Whittier Law School in May of 2015. While in law school, Ryan was a staff member for The Journal of Child and Family Advocacy. Ryan ...
  • Preston  Day Photo
    Preston Day

    Attorney

    Preston Day is an associate attorney at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. Before assuming his position as an associate attorney, Preston spent over two years working as a prosecuting attorney for Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County. During his time as a prosecutor, he managed several hundred cases and took over 100 cases to trial. In his current role, Preston manages primarily divorce , family , and criminal cases . Preston began his legal career working as a law clerk for Judge Richard ...
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Take advantage of a free 30-minute, no-obligation consultation by calling 801-515-4133 or completing the form in the link below.