Kentucky Paternity Law


Paternity – General – Kentucky

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action to establish Paternity in the State of Kentucky, but does include basic and other provisions.

Statutes:

Kentucky Revised Statutes
TITLE XXXV – DOMESTIC RELATIONS
CHAPTER 406 UNIFORM ACT ON PATERNITY

Definitions for KRS 406.011 to 406.180. (1992)
As used in KRS 406.011 to 406.180:

(1) “Genetic markers” means separate identifiable genes or complexes of genes generally isolated as a result of blood typing, at least seven (7) of which are normally tested in a paternity proceeding.

(2) “Genetic tests” means blood or tissue typing tests including, but not limited to, tests  of red cell antigens, red cell isoenzymes, human leukocyte antigens, serum proteins, electrofloresis, or deoxyribonucleic acid.

(3) “Paternity index” means the commonly accepted indicator used for denoting the existence of paternity. It represents the mathematically computed probability that the putative father is the true father of the child, as opposed to any other man of similar ethnic background. The paternity index, computed using results of various paternity tests following accepted statistical principles for the computation of probability, shall be in accordance with the method of expression accepted by the American Association of Blood Banks.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.005 ]

Obligations of father — Presumption of paternity. (1972)
The father of a child which is or may be born out of wedlock is liable to the same extent as the father of a child born in wedlock, whether or not the child is born alive, for the reasonable expense of the mother’s pregnancy and confinement and for the education, necessary support and funeral expenses of the child. A child born during lawful wedlock, or within ten (10) months thereafter, is presumed to be the child of the husband and wife. However, a child born out of wedlock includes a child born to a married woman by a man other than her husband where evidence shows that the marital relationship between the husband and wife ceased ten (10) months prior to the birth of the child.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.011]

Determination of paternity. (1998)

(1) Paternity may be determined upon the complaint of the mother, putative father, child, person, or agency substantially contributing to the support of the child. The action shall be brought by the county attorney or by the Cabinet for Families and Children or its designee upon the request of complainant authorized by this section.

(2) Paternity may be determined by the District Court when the mother and father of the child, either:

(a) Submit affidavits in which the mother states the name and Social Security number of the child’s father and the father admits paternity of the child; or

(b) Give testimony before the District Court in which the mother states the name and Social Security number of the child’s father and the father admits paternity of the child.

(3) If paternity has been determined or has been acknowledged according to the laws of this state, the liabilities of the father may be enforced in the same or other proceedings by the mother, child, person, or agency substantially contributing to the cost of pregnancy, confinement, education, necessary support, or funeral expenses.

Bills for testing, pregnancy, and childbirth without requiring third party foundation testimony shall be regarded as prima facie evidence of the amount incurred. An action to enforce the liabilities shall be brought by the county attorney upon the request of such complainant authorized by this section. An action to enforce the liabilities of the cost of pregnancy, birthing costs, child support, and medical support shall be brought by the county attorney or by the Cabinet for Families and Children or its designee.

(4) Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to KRS 213.046 shall create a rebuttable presumption of paternity.

(5) Upon a showing of service of process on the defendant and if the defendant has made no pleading to the court or has not moved to enter evidence pursuant to KRS 406.091, the court shall order paternity to be established by default.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.021]

Rebuttable presumption of voluntary anowledgment – of – paternity affidavit — Temporary support order if paternity is indicated — Continuation of child support until final determination of paternity. (2005)

(1) Upon completion of a signed, notarized, voluntary acknowledgment-of-paternity affidavit by the mother and alleged father, obtained through the hospital-based paternity program, and submitted to the state registrar of vital statistics, paternity shall be rebuttably presumed for the earlier of sixty (60) days or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a child support order.

(2) Upon completion of a signed, notarized, voluntary acknowledgment-of-paternity affidavit by the mother and alleged father obtained outside of the hospital and submitted to the state registrar of vital statistics, paternity shall be rebuttably presumed for the earlier of sixty (60) days or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a child support order following the date of signatures on the notarized affidavit.

(3) Pending an administrative or judicial determination of parentage, or upon a signed, notarized, voluntary acknowledgment-of-paternity form having been transmitted by the local registrar and received by the Vital Statistics Branch, a temporary support order shall be issued upon motion of any party if paternity is indicated by genetic testing or other clear and convincing evidence.

(4) The motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the factual basis for the motion and the amounts requested.

(5) The court shall, within fourteen (14) days from the filing of the motion, order an amount of temporary child support based upon the child support guidelines as provided by KRS 403.212. The ordered child support shall be retroactive to the date of the filing of the motion to move the court to enter an order for temporary child support without written or oral notice to the adverse party. The order shall provide that the order becomes effective seven (7) days following service of the order and movant’s affidavit upon the adverse party unless the adverse party, within the seven (7) day period, files a motion for a hearing before the court. The motion for hearing shall be accompanied by the affidavit required by KRS 403.160(2)(a). Pending the hearing, the adverse party shall pay child support in an amount based upon the guidelines and the adverse party’s affidavit. The child support order entered following the hearing shall be retroactive to the date of the filing of the motion for temporary support unless otherwise ordered by the court.

(6) Unless good cause is shown, court or administratively ordered child support shall continue until final judicial or administrative determination of paternity.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.025]

Limitation of action. (1990)

(1) The determination of paternity under the provisions of KRS 406.021(1) shall be commenced within eighteen (18) years after the birth, miscarriage or stillbirth of a child. However, in such cases, liability for child support shall not predate the initiation of action taken to determine paternity as set forth in KRS 406.021 if the action is taken four (4) years or more from the date of birth.

(2) Any person for whom paternity has not yet been established and who had not reached eighteen (18) years of age as of August 16, 1984, including those persons for whom a paternity action was brought but dismissed because a statute of limitations of less than eighteen (18) years was then in effect, may bring an action to establish paternity.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.031]

Written order of paternity — Limit on public inspection — Persons who may inspect. (1998)

(1) If paternity has been determined under the provisions of subsection (1) or (2) of KRS 406.021, the court shall make a written order of paternity.

(2) Information concerning this action received or transmitted shall not be published or be open for public inspection, including where the cabinet determines reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, if the disclosure of the information could be harmful to the custodial parent or the child of the parent.

(3) Such orders are to be kept separately and shall not be open for public inspection except that they may be inspected by employees of governmental agencies in the performance of their duties, all law enforcement agencies including county attorneys, Commonwealth’s attorneys, District and Circuit Judges, and anyone else under order of the court expressly permitting inspection. Either party to an action under this chapter or attorneys of a party to an action under this chapter shall be permitted to inspect the order entered in the action to which he is a party.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.035]

Effect of death of father on liabilities. (1992)
The obligation of the estate of the father for liabilities under this chapter shall not be terminated by the death of the father obligated to support the child. If a father obligated to support the child dies, the amount of support may be modified, revoked, or commuted to a lump-sum payment, to the extent just and appropriate in the circumstances.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.041]

Remedies — District Court’s concurrent jurisdiction for child custody and visitation in paternity cases. (1996)

(1) The District Court has jurisdiction of an action brought under this chapter and all remedies for the enforcement of judgments for expenses of pregnancy and confinement for a wife or for education, necessary support, or funeral expenses for children born out of wedlock. An appeal may be had to the Circuit Court if prosecuted within sixty (60) days from the date of judgment. The court has continuing jurisdiction to modify or revoke a judgment for future education. All remedies under the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act are available for enforcement of duties of support under this chapter.

(2) The District Court may exercise jurisdiction, concurrent with that of the Circuit Court, to determine matters of child custody and visitation in cases where paternity is established as set forth in this chapter. The District Court, in making these determinations, shall utilize the provisions of KRS Chapter 403 relating to child custody and visitation. The District Court may decline jurisdiction if it finds the circumstances of any case require a level of proceedings more appropriate to the Circuit Court.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.051]

Jury trial in paternity action. (1998)
To the extent necessary to conform to federal law, 42 U.S.C. sec. 666(a)(5)(l), except to the extent that it is required under Section 7 of the Constitution of Kentucky, no party shall be entitled to a trial by a jury in a paternity action.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.061]

Time of trial. (1964)
If the issue of paternity is raised in an action commenced during the pregnancy of the mother, the trial shall not, without the consent of the alleged father, be held until after the birth or miscarriage but during such delay testimony may be perpetuated in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.071]

Authority for genetic tests. (1992)
The court, upon request of a party or on its own motion, shall order the mother, child, and alleged father to submit to genetic tests. If the mother refuses for herself or on behalf of the child to submit to the tests, the court may resolve the question of paternity against her unless the action is brought by or is being prosecuted by an agency contributing to the support of the child.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.081]

406.091. Ratification of unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity — Genetic tests to include tests for inherited characteristics — Appointment of examiner of genetic markers — Genetic testing in contested paternity case — Admissibility of test results — Additional tests — Costs. (2005)

(1) An unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity shall be ratified under KRS Chapter 213 without the requirement for judicial or administrative proceedings. If a genetic test is required, the court shall direct that inherited characteristics be determined by appropriate testing procedures, and shall appoint an expert qualified as an examiner of genetic markers to analyze and interpret results and to report to the court.

(2) In a contested paternity case, the child and all other parties shall submit to genetic testing upon a request of any such party which shall be supported by a sworn statement of the party, except for good cause.

(3) Genetic test results are admissible and shall be weighed along with other evidence of the alleged father’s paternity.

(4) Any objection to genetic testing results shall be made in writing to the court within twenty (20) days of receipt of genetic test results. If the results of genetic tests or the expert’s analysis of inherited characteristics is disputed, the court, upon reasonable request of a party, shall order that an additional test be made by the same laboratory or independent laboratory at the expense of the party requesting additional testing. If no objection is made, the test results are admissible as evidence of paternity without the need for foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity or accuracy.

(5) Verified documentation of the chain of custody in transmitting the blood specimens is competent evidence to establish the chain of custody.

(6) A verified expert’s report shall be admitted at trial unless the expert is called by a party or the court as a witness to testify to his findings.

(7) Except where the Cabinet for Health and Family Services administratively orders genetic testing, all costs associated with genetic testing shall be paid by the parties in proportions determined by the court.

(8) When administratively ordered, the cabinet shall pay the cost of genetic testing to establish paternity, subject to recoupment from the alleged father when paternity is established. The cabinet shall obtain additional testing in any case if an original test is contested, upon request and advance payment by the contestant.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.091]

Effect of blood test results. (1992)
If the court finds that the conclusions of all the experts, as disclosed by the evidence based upon the tests, are that the alleged father is not the father of the child, the question of paternity shall be resolved accordingly. If the court finds that the statistical probability of paternity equals or exceeds ninety-nine percent (99%), as calculated by the experts qualified as examiners of genetic markers, and that the paternity index, as calculated by the experts qualified as examiners of genetic markers, is one hundred (100) to one (1) or greater, there is a rebuttable presumption, affecting the burden of proof, of paternity. This presumption shall only be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence. If the presumption is not rebutted, the court may enter a summary judgment of paternity, pursuant to Rule 56 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.111].

Settlement agreements. (1964)
An agreement of settlement with the alleged father is binding only when approved by the court.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.141].

Venue. (1964)
An action under this chapter may be brought in the county where the alleged father is present or has property or in the county where the mother resides.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.151].

Applicability. (1972)
This chapter applies to all cases of birth out of wedlock:

(1) Where birth occurs within this state;

(2) When birth occurs out of this state at the time the mother is a resident of this state after June 18, 1964; or

(3) When birth occurs out of this state and at some time following the birth the mother becomes a resident of this state after June 18, 1964.
[Title XXXV, Ch. 406, Section 406.180].