Paternity – General – Nebraska
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 Nebraska, but does include basic and other provisions.
Title 43 Infants and Incompetents
Terms, defined. (1994)
For purposes of sections 43-1401 to 43-1418:
(1) Child shall mean a child under the age of eighteen years born out of wedlock;
(2) Child born out of wedlock shall mean a child whose parents were not married to each other at the time of its birth, except that a child shall not be considered as born out of wedlock if its parents were married at the time of its conception but divorced at the time of its birth. The definition of legitimacy or illegitimacy for other purposes shall not be affected by the provisions of such sections; and
(3) Support shall include reasonable education.
Title 43, §43-1401
Child support; liability of parents. (1983)
The father of a child whose paternity is established either by judicial proceedings or by acknowledgment as hereinafter provided shall be liable for its support to the same extent and in the same manner as the father of a child born in lawful wedlock is liable for its support. The mother of a child shall also be liable for its support. The liability of each parent may be determined, enforced, and discharged in accordance with the methods hereinafter provided.
Title 43, §43-1402
Support by county; conditions. (1983)
In case of the neglect or inability of the parents, or either of them, to support a child, it shall be supported by the county chargeable therewith under the provisions of Chapter 68. Nothing in this section shall be construed to make a child ineligible to receive relief to which it might otherwise be entitled under any law enacted for the relief of children.
Title 43, §43-1403
Child support; liability of parents; discharge. (1983)
The liability of the father or mother of a child for its support shall be discharged by compliance with the terms of a judicial decree for support or the terms of a judicially approved settlement or by the adoption of the child by some other person or persons.
Title 43, §43-1404
Child support; liability of father; discharge by settlement; requirements. (1983)
A settlement provided for in section 43-1404 means a voluntary agreement between the father of the child and the mother or some person authorized to act in her behalf, or between the father and the next friend or guardian of the child, whereby the father promises to make adequate provision for the support of the child. In the event that such a settlement is made it shall be binding on all parties and shall bar all other remedies of the mother and child and the legal representatives of the child so long as it shall be performed by the father, if said settlement is approved by the court having jurisdiction to compel the support of the child. The court shall approve such settlement only if it shall find and determine that adequate provision is made for the support of the child and that the father shall have offered clear evidence of his willingness and ability to perform the agreement. The court, in its discretion, may require the father to furnish bond with proper sureties conditioned upon the performance of the settlement.
Title 43, §43-1405
Determination of paternity by other state; full faith and credit; legitimacy of child. (1994)
(1) A determination of paternity made by any other state, whether established through voluntary acknowledgment, genetic testing, or administrative or judicial processes, shall be given full faith and credit by this state.
(2) A child whose parents marry is legitimate.
Title 43, §43-1406
Expenses of mother; liability of father; enforcement. (2008)
(1) The father of a child shall also be liable for the reasonable expenses of (a) the child that are associated with the birth of the child and (b) the mother of such child during the period of her pregnancy, confinement, and recovery. Such liability shall be determined and enforced in the same manner as the liability of the father for the support of the child.
(2) In cases in which any medical expenses associated with the birth of the child and the mother of such child during the period of her pregnancy, confinement, and recovery are paid by the medical assistance program, the county attorney or authorized attorney, as defined in section 43-1704, may petition the court for a judgment for all or a portion of the reasonable medical expenses paid by the medical assistance program. Any medical expenses associated with the birth of such child and the mother of such child during the period of her pregnancy, confinement, and recovery that are approved and paid by the medical assistance program shall be presumed to be medically reasonable. If the father challenges any such expenses as not medically reasonable, he has the burden of proving that such expenses were not medically reasonable.
(3) A civil proceeding to recover medical expenses pursuant to this section may be instituted within four years after the child’s birth. Summons shall issue and be served as in other civil proceedings, except that such summons may be directed to the sheriff of any county in the state and may be served in any county.
Title 43, §43-1407
Repealed. Laws 1991, LB 457, s. 47. (1991)
Title 43, §43-1408
Notarized acknowledgment of paternity; execution by alleged father; form; filing with Department of Health and Human Services Finance and Support; payment. (2007)
(1) During the period immediately before or after the in-hospital birth of a child whose mother was not married at the time of either conception or birth of the child or at any time between conception and birth of the child, the person in charge of such hospital or his or her designated representative shall provide to the child’s mother and alleged father, if the alleged father is readily identifiable and available, the documents and written instructions for such mother and father to complete a notarized acknowledgment of paternity.
Such acknowledgment, if signed by both parties and notarized, shall be filed with the Department of Health and Human Services at the same time at which the certificate of live birth is filed.
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require the person in charge of such hospital or his or her designee to seek out or otherwise locate an alleged father who is not readily identifiable or available.
(2) The acknowledgment shall be executed on a form prepared by the department. Such form shall be in essentially the same form provided by the department and used for obtaining signatures required by section 71-640.02. The acknowledgment shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) a statement by the mother consenting to the acknowledgment of paternity and a statement that the alleged father is the biological father of the child,
(b) a statement by the alleged father that he is the biological father of the child,
(c) written information regarding parental rights and responsibilities, and
(d) the social security numbers of the parents.
(3) The form provided for in subsection (2) of this section shall also contain instructions for completion and filing with the department if it is not completed and filed with a birth certificate as provided in subsection (1) of this section.
(4) The department shall accept completed acknowledgment forms and make available to the county attorneys, or authorized attorneys a record of acknowledgments it has received, as provided in subsection (1) of section 71-612.
The department may prepare photographic, electronic, or other reproductions of acknowledgments. Such reproductions, when certified and approved by the department, shall be accepted as the original records, and the documents from which permanent reproductions have been made may be disposed of as provided by rules and regulations of the department.
(5) The department may by regulation establish a nominal payment and procedure for payment by the department for each acknowledgment filed with the department. The amount of such payments and the entities receiving such payments shall be within the limits allowed by Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act, as amended.
Title 43, §43-1408.01
Notarized acknowledgment of paternity; rebuttable presumption; admissibility; rescission. (1999)
The signing of a notarized acknowledgment, whether under section 43-1408.01 or otherwise, by the alleged father shall create a rebuttable presumption of paternity as against the alleged father. The signed, notarized acknowledgment is subject to the right of any signatory to rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of (1) sixty days or (2) the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a support order in which the signatory is a party. After the rescission period a signed, notarized acknowledgment is considered a legal finding which may be challenged only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact with the burden of proof upon the challenger, and the legal responsibilities, including the child support obligation, of any signatory arising from the acknowledgment shall not be suspended during the challenge, except for good cause shown. Such a signed and notarized acknowledgment or a certified copy or certified reproduction thereof shall be admissible in evidence in any proceeding to establish support.
Title 43, §43-1409
Child support; decree or approved settlement; effect after death of parent. (1983)
Any judicially approved settlement or order of support made by a court having jurisdiction in the premises shall be binding on the legal representatives of the father or mother in the event of his or her death, to the same extent as other contractual obligations and judicial judgments or decrees.
Title 43, §43-1410
Paternity; action to establish; venue; limitation; summons. (2007)
A civil proceeding to establish the paternity of a child may be instituted, in the court of the district where the child is domiciled or found or, for cases under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, where the alleged father is domiciled, by (1) the mother or the alleged father of such child, either during pregnancy or within four years after the child’s birth, unless (a) a valid consent or relinquishment has been made pursuant to sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.24 and section 18 of this act or section 43-105 for purposes of adoption or (b) a county court or separate juvenile court has jurisdiction over the custody of the child or jurisdiction over an adoption matter with respect to such child pursuant to sections 43-101 to 43-116 or (2) the guardian or next friend of such child or the state, either during pregnancy or within eighteen years after the child’s birth. Summons shall issue and be served as in other civil proceedings, except that such summons may be directed to the sheriff of any county in the state and may be served in any county.
Title 43, §43-1411
Paternity or parental support; jurisdiction. (2008)
An action for paternity or parental support under sections 43-1401 to 43-1418 may be initiated by filing a petition with the clerk of the district court as provided in section 25-2740. Such proceeding may be heard by the county court or the district court as provided in section 25-2740. A paternity determination under sections 43-1411 to 43-1418 may also be decided in a county court or separate juvenile court if the county court or separate juvenile court already has jurisdiction over the child whose paternity is to be determined.
(2) Whenever termination of parental rights is placed in issue in any case arising under sections 43-1401 to 43-1418, subsection (5) of section 42-364 and the Parenting Act shall apply to such proceedings.
An individual may file a complaint for relief and the court may set aside a final judgment, court order, administrative order, obligation to pay child support, or any other legal determination of paternity if a scientifically reliable genetic test performed in accordance with sections 43-1401 to 43-1418 establishes the exclusion of the individual named as a father in the legal determination. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interest of the child. The filing party shall pay the costs of such test. A court that sets aside a determination of paternity in accordance with this section shall order completion of a new birth record and may order any other appropriate relief, including setting aside an obligation to pay child support. No support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending complaint for relief from a determination of paternity under this section, but only from the date that notice of the complaint was served on the nonfiling party. A court shall not grant relief from determination of paternity if the individual named as father (1) completed a notarized acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to section 43-1408.01, (2) adopted the child, or (3) knew that the child was conceived through artificial insemination.
Title 43, §43-1411.01
Paternity; action to establish; procedure; public hearings prohibited; evidence; default judgment; decree; payment of costs and fees. (2006)
If it is determined in this proceeding that the alleged father is actually the father of the child, a judgment shall be entered declaring the alleged father to be the father of the child.
(2) A default judgment shall be entered upon a showing of service and failure of the defendant to answer or otherwise appear.
(3) If a judgment is entered under this section declaring the alleged father to be the father of the child, the court shall retain jurisdiction of the cause and enter such order of support, including the amount, if any, of any court costs and attorney’s fees which the court in its discretion deems appropriate to be paid by the father, as may be proper under the procedure and in the manner specified in section 43-512.04. If it is not determined in the proceeding that the alleged father is actually the father of the child, the court shall, if it finds that the action was frivolous, award court costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the alleged father, with such costs and fees to be paid by the plaintiff.
(4) All judgments under this section declaring the alleged father to be the father of the child shall include the father’s social security number. The social security number of the declared father of the child shall be furnished to the clerk of the district court in a document accompanying the judgment.
Title 43, §43-1412
Child born out of wedlock; term substituted for other terms. (1983)
In any local law, ordinance or resolution, or in any public or judicial proceeding, or in any process, notice, order, decree, judgment, record or other public document or paper, the terms bastard or illegitimate child shall not be used but the term child born out of wedlock shall be used in substitution therefor and with the same force and effect.
Title 43, §43-1413
Genetic testing; procedure; confidentiality; violation; penalty. (2007)
(1) In any proceeding to establish paternity, the court may, on its own motion, or shall, on a timely request of a party, after notice and hearing, require the child, the mother, and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing to be performed on blood or any other appropriate genetic testing material. Failure to comply with such requirement for genetic testing shall constitute contempt and may be dealt with in the same manner as other contempts. If genetic testing is required, the court shall direct that inherited characteristics be determined by appropriate testing procedures and shall appoint an expert in genetic testing and qualified as an examiner of genetic markers to analyze and interpret the results and to report to the court. The court shall determine the number of experts required.
(2) In any proceeding to establish paternity, the Department of Health and Human Services, county attorneys, and authorized attorneys have the authority to require the child, the mother, and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing to be performed on blood or any other appropriate genetic testing material. All genetic testing shall be performed by a laboratory accredited by the College of American Pathologists or any other national accrediting body or public agency which has requirements that are substantially equivalent to or more comprehensive than those of the college.
(3) Except as authorized under sections 43-1414 to 43-1418, a person shall not disclose information obtained from genetic paternity testing that is done pursuant to such sections.
(4) If an alleged father who is tested as part of an action under such sections is found to be the child’s father, the testing laboratory shall retain the genetic testing material of the alleged father, mother, and child for no longer than the period of years prescribed by the national standards under which the laboratory is accredited. If a man is found not to be the child’s father, the testing laboratory shall destroy the man’s genetic testing material in the presence of a witness after such material is used in the paternity action. The witness may be an individual who is a party to the destruction of the genetic testing material. After the man’s genetic testing material is destroyed, the testing laboratory shall make and keep a written record of the destruction and have the individual who witnessed the destruction sign the record. The testing laboratory shall also expunge its records regarding the genetic paternity testing performed on the genetic testing material in accordance with the national standards under which the laboratory is accredited. The testing laboratory shall retain the genetic testing material of the mother and child for no longer than the period of years prescribed by the national standards under which the laboratory is accredited. After a testing laboratory destroys an individual’s genetic testing material as provided in this subsection, it shall notify the adult individual, or the parent or legal guardian of a minor individual, by certified mail that the genetic testing material was destroyed.
(5) A testing laboratory is required to protect the confidentiality of genetic testing material, except as required for a paternity determination. The court and its officers shall not use or disclose genetic testing material for a purpose other than the paternity determination.
(6) A person shall not buy, sell, transfer, or offer genetic testing material obtained under sections 43-1414 to 43-1418.
(7) A testing laboratory shall annually have an independent audit verifying the contracting laboratory’s compliance with this section. The audit shall not disclose the names of, or otherwise identify, the test subjects required to submit to testing during the previous year. The testing laboratory shall forward the audit to the department.
(8) Any person convicted of violating this section shall be guilty of a Class IV misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class III misdemeanor for the second or subsequent offense.
(9) For purposes of sections 43-1414 to 43-1418, an xpert in genetic testing means a person who has formal doctoral training or postdoctoral training in human genetics.
Title 43, §43-1414
Results of genetic tests; admissible evidence; rebuttable presumption. (1994)
(1) The results of the tests, including the statistical probability of paternity, shall be admissible evidence and, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, shall be weighed along with other evidence of paternity.
(2) When the results of tests, whether or not such tests were ordered pursuant to section 43-1414, show a probability of paternity of ninety-nine percent or more, there shall exist a rebuttable presumption of paternity.
(3) Such evidence may be introduced by verified written report without the need for foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity or accuracy unless there is a timely written request for personal testimony of the expert at least thirty days prior to trial.
Title 43, §43-1415
Genetic tests; chain of custody; competent evidence. (1994)
The chain of custody of blood or tissue specimens shall be competent evidence and admissible by stipulation or by a verified written report, without the need for foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity, unless a timely written request for testimony is made at least thirty days prior to trial.
Title 43, §43-1416
Additional genetic testing; when. (1984)
If the result of genetic testing or the expert’s analysis of inherited characteristics is disputed, the court, upon reasonable request of a party, shall order that additional testing be done by the same laboratory or an independent laboratory at the expense of the party requesting additional testing.
Title 43, §43-1417
Genetic testing; costs. (1984)
In cases where the court orders genetic testing at the request of a party, the requesting party shall initially pay such expense. In cases where the court orders genetic testing in the absence of a request of any party, the assessment of the cost of such testing shall be determined by the court. Whenever the disputing party prevails, the costs shall be borne by the other party.
Title 43, §43-1418