New Hampshire Paternity Law
Paternity – General – New Hampshire
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 New Hampshire, but does include basic and other provisions.
New Hampshire Revised Statutes
TITLE XII – Public Safety and Welfare
Chapter 168-A: Uniform Act on Paternity
Title LIII – Proceedings in Court
Chapter 522: Blood Tests to Determine Paternity
Obligations of the Father. (1973)
The father of a child which is or may be born of unwed parents 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 and necessary support of the child. A child born of unwed parents includes a child born to a married woman by a man other than her husband.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:1
Establishment of Paternity; Enforcement. (2006)
I. Paternity shall be established upon the filing of:
(a) A petition to the superior court by the mother, putative father, child, or public authority chargeable by law with the support of the child and the granting of such petition by the court; or
(b) An affidavit of paternity with the clerk of the town where the birth of the child occurred pursuant to RSA 5-C:24. The affidavit of paternity shall have the legal effect of establishing paternity without requiring further action pursuant to this chapter, unless rescinded pursuant to RSA 5-C:28.
II. The courts of this state shall give full faith and credit to a determination of paternity made by another state, whether established by court or administrative order, through voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, or by operation of another state’s law.
III. If paternity has been established pursuant to paragraph I or II, the liabilities of the father may be enforced in the same or other proceedings by:
(a) The mother, child, or the public authority which has furnished or may furnish the reasonable expenses of pregnancy, confinement, education or necessary support; or
(b) Other persons, including private agencies, to the extent that they have furnished the reasonable expenses of pregnancy, confinement, education or necessary support.
IV. If a presumption of paternity arises pursuant to RSA 522:4, I(d), the court shall issue a temporary order of support for the child pursuant to RSA 458-C pending final order on the issue of paternity.
V. Upon determining paternity, the court shall provide a copy of the order to the department of state, division of vital records administration, except that the office of child support enforcement services shall provide the copy to the department of state, division of vital records administration in cases initiated by the department of health and human services.
VI. Copies of bills for pregnancy, childbirth, and genetic paternity testing shall be admissible as evidence without requiring third-party foundation testimony, and shall constitute prima facie evidence of costs incurred for such services or for genetic paternity testing.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:2
Limitations on Recovery from Father’s Estate. (1971)
The obligation of the estate of the father for liabilities under this chapter is limited to amounts accrued prior to his death and such sums as may be payable for dependence under other laws.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:3
Limitation on Retroactive Support Award. (2003)
If the child is 3 months old or older, the father’s liability for past education and support under RSA 168-A:1 is limited to amounts accrued from the date of service of the petition on the father or, if the court finds that the father is willfully avoiding service, from such date as the court determines is just and equitable. There is no limitation on retroactive support if the child is less than 3 months old.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:3-a
I. The superior court has jurisdiction of a proceeding under this chapter and all remedies for the enforcement of judgments for expenses of pregnancy and confinement for a mother or for education or necessary support of children apply including, but not limited to, the provisions of RSA 161-B, 161-C, and 458.
II. In any proceeding concerning the support of children:
(a) The parties shall certify in the initial pleading filed with the court whether or not public assistance is or was paid for the benefit of the children pursuant to RSA 167 and whether or not medical assistance is being provided for the benefit of the children pursuant to RSA 167. If public assistance is or was being provided or if medical assistance is being provided, the initiating party shall provide the department of health and human services, office of child support enforcement services, with copies of any and all pleadings related to medical and child support.
(b) If, during the pendency of the action, the children become the beneficiaries of public or medical assistance, both parties shall notify the court of the public or medical assistance status of the children and shall provide the department of health and human services with copies of all pleadings related to medical and child support.
(c) When notified that public or medical assistance is being provided for the benefit of the children, the court shall provide the office of child support with a copy of any hearing notice pertaining to any medical or child support proceeding.
(d) The department shall be granted leave to reopen any case to modify, clarify, or vacate any order that was entered against its interest when an assignment of rights pursuant to RSA 161 or RSA 167 is or was in effect and the department was not given notice of the proceeding.
III. Upon the prayer of the petitioner the court shall schedule an immediate hearing, as in the cases of prayers for temporary relief in divorce and legal separation proceedings, on the issue of whether, and how much, the alleged father of the child in question shall be required to post in advance as security for the payment of maternity and other expenses for which he may ultimately be held liable under this chapter. The court has continuing jurisdiction to modify or revoke a judgment for future education and necessary support. All remedies under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and all remedies included but not limited to the provisions contained in RSA 161-B, 161-C and 458 are available for enforcement of duties of support under this chapter.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:4
Time of Trial; no Right to Jury Trial. (1997)
I. If the issue of paternity is raised in a proceeding 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 according to the laws of this state.
II. No right to a jury trial exists in a proceeding to establish paternity.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:5
Judgments under this chapter may be for periodic payments which may vary in amount. The court may order payments to be made to the mother or to some person, corporation, or agency designated to administer them under the supervision of the court.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:6
The court may require the alleged father to give bond or other security for the payment of the judgment.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:7
Settlement Agreements. (1971)
An agreement of settlement with the alleged father is binding only when approved by the court.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:8
A proceeding 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 XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:9
Uniformity of Interpretation. (1971)
This chapter shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states which enact it.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:10
Short Title. (1971)
This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Act on Paternity.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:11
Statute of Limitations. (1985)
No proceeding under this chapter shall be maintained unless commenced within 18 years of the date of birth of the child in question.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:12
Social Security Numbers. (2006)
At the conclusion of a paternity action filed pursuant to this chapter in which paternity is established, the court shall also order the mother and father to supply their social security numbers to the registrar of vital records, in accordance with RSA 5-C:25, and to the department of health and human services.
Title XII, Ch. 168-A, 168-A:13
Effect of Test Results. (1994)
I. Tests taken pursuant to RSA 522:1 shall have the following effect:
(a) If the court finds that the conclusion of all the experts, as disclosed by the evidence based upon the tests, is that the alleged father is not the parent of the child, the question of paternity shall be resolved accordingly.
(b) If the experts disagree in their findings or conclusions, the question shall be weighed with other competent evidence of paternity.
(c) If the blood, tissue and/or genetic marker tests show that the alleged father is not excluded and that the probability of the alleged father’s paternity is less than 97 percent, this evidence shall be admitted by the court and shall be weighed with other competent evidence of paternity.
(d) If the blood, tissue and/or genetic marker tests show that the alleged father is not excluded and that the probability of the alleged father’s paternity is 97 percent or higher, the alleged father is presumed to be the father, and this evidence shall be admitted. This presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.
II. Notarized documentation of the chain of custody of the blood, tissue and/or genetic marker samples is competent evidence to establish the chain of custody.
III. A notarized report of the blood, tissue and/or genetic marker tests, prepared by the appointed experts, shall be admitted at trial as evidence of paternity without the need for foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity or accuracy, unless a written challenge to the testing procedure or results of the blood, tissue and/or genetic marker tests has been filed with the court and delivered to opposing counsel at least 30 days before any hearing set to determine the issue of paternity. Failure to make that timely challenge constitutes a waiver of the right to have the experts appear in person and shall not be grounds for a continuance of the hearing to determine paternity.
IV. If the court’s notice of hearing is issued less than 40 days before the hearing to determine paternity, then upon motion by a party setting forth the party’s intention to challenge the blood test result, the hearing shall be continued for 45 days.
Title LIII, Ch. 522, 522:4