CHAPTER 815y
PATERNITY MATTERS

Table of Contents

Sec. 46b-160. (Formerly Sec. 52-435a). Petition by mother or expectant mother. Venue. Continuance of case. Evidence. Jurisdiction over nonresident putative father. Personal service. Petition to include answer form, notice and application for appointment of counsel. Genetic tests. Default judgment, when.
Sec. 46b-169. (Formerly Sec. 52-440b). Compelling disclosure of name of putative father. Institution of action.
Sec. 46b-171. (Formerly Sec. 52-442). Judgment of court or family support magistrate. Support orders. Past-due support. Reopened judgment of paternity.
Sec. 46b-172. (Formerly Sec. 52-442a). Acknowledgment of paternity and agreement to support; judgment. Review of acknowledgment of paternity.
Sec. 46b-172a. Filing of claim for paternity by putative father. Child as party. Attorney General as party. Hearing. Three-judge court. Rights and responsibilities upon adjudication or acknowledgment of paternity. Claim for paternity after death of putative father.

      Sec. 46b-160. (Formerly Sec. 52-435a). Petition by mother or expectant mother. Venue. Continuance of case. Evidence. Jurisdiction over nonresident putative father. Personal service. Petition to include answer form, notice and application for appointment of counsel. Genetic tests. Default judgment, when. (a)(1)(A) Proceedings to establish paternity of a child born or conceived out of lawful wedlock, including one born to, or conceived by, a married woman but begotten by a man other than her husband, shall be commenced by the service on the putative father of a verified petition of the mother or expectant mother. Such petition may be brought at any time prior to the child's eighteenth birthday, provided liability for past support shall be limited to the three years next preceding the date of the filing of any such petition.

      (B) In cases involving public assistance recipients, the petition shall also be served upon the Attorney General who shall be and remain a party to any paternity proceeding and to any proceedings after judgment in such action.

      (2) The verified petition, summons and order shall be filed in the superior court for the judicial district in which either she or the putative father resides, except that in IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, and in petitions brought under sections 46b-212 to 46b-213w, inclusive, such petition shall be filed with the clerk for the Family Support Magistrate Division serving the judicial district where either she or the putative father resides.

      (3) (A) The court or any judge, or family support magistrate, assigned to said court shall cause a summons, signed by such judge or magistrate, by the clerk of said court, or by a commissioner of the Superior Court to be issued, requiring the putative father to appear in court at a time and place as determined by the clerk but not more than ninety days after the issuance of the summons to show cause why the request for relief in such petition should not be granted.

      (B) A state marshal, proper officer or investigator shall make due return of process to the court not less than twenty-one days before the date assigned for hearing. In the case of a child or expectant mother being supported wholly or in part by the state, service of such petition may be made by any investigator employed by the Department of Social Services and any proper officer authorized by law.

      (4) If the putative father fails to appear in court at such time and place, the court or family support magistrate shall hear the petitioner and, upon a finding that process was served on the putative father, shall enter a default judgment of paternity against such father and such other orders as the facts may warrant. Such court or family support magistrate may order continuance of such hearing; and if such mother or expectant mother continues constant in her accusation, it shall be evidence that the respondent is the father of such child. The court or family support magistrate shall, upon motion by a party, issue an order for temporary support of the child by the respondent pending a final judgment of the issue of paternity if such court or magistrate finds that there is clear and convincing evidence of paternity which evidence shall include, but not be limited to, genetic test results indicating a ninety-nine per cent or greater probability that such respondent is the father of the child.

      (b) If the putative father resides out of or is absent from the state, notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction over such putative father shall be actual notice, and shall be in the manner prescribed for personal service of process by the law of the place in which service is made.

      (c) In any proceeding to establish paternity, the court or family support magistrate may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident putative father if the court or magistrate finds that the putative father was personally served in this state or that the putative father resided in this state and while residing in this state (1) paid prenatal expenses for the mother and support for the child, (2) resided with the child and held himself out as the father of the child, or (3) paid support for the child and held himself out as the father of the child, provided the nonresident putative father has received actual notice of the pending petition for paternity pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

      (d) The petition, when served pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, shall be accompanied by an answer form, a notice to the putative father and an application for appointment of counsel, written in clear and simple language designed for use by pro se defendants.

      (e) (1) The answer form shall require the putative father to indicate whether he admits that he is the father, denies that he is the father or does not know whether he is the father of the child. Any response to the answer form shall not be deemed to waive any jurisdictional defense.

      (2) The notice to the putative father shall inform him that (A) he has a right to be represented by an attorney, and if he is indigent, the court will appoint an attorney for him, (B) if he is found to be the father, he will be required to financially support the child until the child attains the age of eighteen years, (C) if he does not admit he is the father, the court or family support magistrate may order a genetic test to determine paternity and that the cost of such test shall be paid by the state in IV-D support cases, and in non-IV-D cases shall be paid by the petitioner, except that if he is subsequently adjudicated to be the father of the child, he shall be liable to the state or the petitioner, as the case may be, for the amount of such cost and (D) if he fails to return the answer form or fails to appear for a scheduled genetic test without good cause, a default judgment shall be entered.

      (3) The application for appointment of counsel shall include a financial affidavit.

      (f) If the court or family support magistrate may exercise personal jurisdiction over the nonresident putative father pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and the answer form is returned and the putative father does not admit paternity, the court shall order the mother, the child and the putative father to submit to genetic tests. Such order shall be served upon the putative father in the same manner as provided in subsection (c) of this section. The genetic test of the putative father, unless he requests otherwise, shall be made in the state where the putative father resides at a location convenient to him. The costs of such test shall be paid by the state in IV-D support cases, and in non-IV-D cases shall be paid by the petitioner, except that if the putative father is subsequently adjudicated the father of the child, he shall be liable to the state or the petitioner, as the case may be, for the amount of the costs.

      (g) The court or family support magistrate shall enter a default judgment against a nonresident putative father if such putative father (1) fails to answer or otherwise respond to the petition, or (2) fails to appear for a scheduled genetic test without good cause, provided a default judgment shall not be entered against a nonresident putative father unless (A) there is evidence that the nonresident putative father has received actual notice of the petition pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and (B) there is verification that the process served upon the putative father included the answer form, notice to the defendant and an application for appointment of counsel required by subsection (e) of this section. Upon entry of a default judgment, a copy of the judgment and a form for a motion to reopen shall be served upon the father in the same manner as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

      (February, 1965, P.A. 406, S. 1; 1967, P.A. 520, S. 1; P.A. 74-183, S. 108, 291; P.A. 75-406, S. 3, 11; 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 76-334, S. 9, 12; 76-436, S. 498, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 521, 610; P.A. 78-379, S. 21, 27; P.A. 79-560, S. 16, 39; P.A. 85-548, S. 3; P.A. 88-364, S. 60, 123; P.A. 89-360, S. 13, 44, 45; P.A. 93-187, S. 2; 93-262, S. 68, 87; 93-329, S. 2; 93-396, S. 15; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 56, 75; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 19, 38; P.A. 00-99, S. 93, 154; P.A. 01-195, S. 41, 181; P.A. 07-247, S. 10.)

      History: 1967 act extended section to expectant mothers; P.A. 74-183 replaced circuit court with court of common pleas and "circuit" with "county or judicial district", effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 75-406 specified that venue in paternity action is to be in accordance with Secs. 52-435a, 52-438 and 52-442a; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare department with department of social services; P.A. 76-334 specified that petition is to be served on attorney general and that he is to be a party to paternity proceedings in cases involving public assistance recipients and replaced "county or judicial district" with "geographical area"; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and superior court with supreme court where appearing, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 replaced department of social services with department of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-379 required that jurors be selected from judicial district where geographical area is located for trial purposes; P.A. 79-560 added reference to petitions made by income maintenance department investigators; Sec. 52-435a transferred to Sec. 46b-160 in 1979; P.A. 85-548 added provision that paternity petition may be brought any time prior to child's eighteenth birthday, provided liability for past support shall be limited to three years next preceding granting of petition, deleting prior provision which prohibited the bringing of petition later than three years after birth of child or three years after cessation of support contributions whichever is later; P.A. 88-364 changed the filing from the geographical area to the judicial district; P.A. 89-360 added exception for filing paternity petition in IV-D support cases with family support magistrate division, added provision re service of petition in case of child or expectant mother wholly supported by state by any proper officer authorized by law, added references to family support magistrate, and added provision that IV-D paternity cases shall be tried by family support magistrate unless one of parties demands trial by jury in accordance with Sec. 46b-164; P.A. 93-187 made technical changes re commencement of paternity proceedings, summons and service of process; P.A. 93-262 replaced reference to departments of income maintenance and human resources with department of social services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-329 added Subsecs. (c) to (h), inclusive, re jurisdiction over nonresident putative father, including requirements of personal service, minimum contacts with this state, answer form, notice, genetic tests and provision re entry of default judgments; P.A. 93-396 made a technical change in Subsec. (a); June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 amended Subsec. (a) by adding reference to petitions brought under Secs. 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, deleted former Subsec. (b) re trial by family support magistrate except when trial by jury is requested by a party to the case and redesignated remaining Subsecs., effective January 1, 1998; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that default judgment of paternity shall be entered upon finding that process served on putative father and to add provision re order of temporary support pending final judgment of paternity if clear and convincing evidence of paternity, amended Subsec. (e)(2) to require default judgment of paternity and amended Subsec. (g) to require entry of default judgment, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 00-99 replaced reference in Subsec. (a) to sheriff with state marshal, effective December 1, 2000; P.A. 01-195 made technical changes in Subsec. (a) for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 11, 2001; P.A. 07-247 amended Subsec. (a) to restructure provisions by adding Subdiv. designators (1) to (4), delete requirement that "petition, summons and order shall be on forms prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator" and replace "46b-213v" with "46b-213w".

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      Sec. 46b-169. (Formerly Sec. 52-440b). Compelling disclosure of name of putative father. Institution of action. (a) If the mother of any child born out of wedlock, or the mother of any child born to any married woman during marriage which child shall be found not to be issue of the marriage terminated by a decree of divorce or dissolution or by decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, fails or refuses to disclose the name of the putative father of such child under oath to the Commissioner of Social Services, if such child is a recipient of public assistance, or otherwise to a guardian or a guardian ad litem of such child, such mother may be cited to appear before any judge of the Superior Court and compelled to disclose the name of the putative father under oath and to institute an action to establish the paternity of said child.

      (b) Any woman who, having been cited to appear before a judge of the Superior Court pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, fails to appear or fails to disclose or fails to prosecute a paternity action may be found to be in contempt of court and may be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

      (1971, P.A. 439, S. 4; P.A. 74-183, S. 110, 291; P.A. 75-406, S. 6, 11; 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 76-436, S. 500, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 521, 610; P.A. 79-560, S. 18, 39; P.A. 88-364, S. 61, 123; P.A. 93-262, S. 70, 87; P.A. 04-76, S. 38; P.A. 07-217, S. 172.)

      History: P.A. 74-183 substituted "decree of divorce or dissolution" for "divorce decree" and court of common pleas for circuit court, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 75-406 added reference to "geographical area" in Subsec. (a); P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner with commissioner of social services; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of social services with commissioner of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-560 added reference to commissioner of income maintenance in Subsec. (a); Sec. 52-440b transferred to Sec. 46b-169 in 1979; P.A. 88-364 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting "assigned to a geographical area" after "superior court"; P.A. 93-262 replaced reference to commissioners of human resources and income maintenance with commissioner of social services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 04-76 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting provision that required the mother of a child to disclose the name of the putative father of such child "to a selectman of a town in which such child resides, if such child is a recipient of general assistance"; P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 46b-171. (Formerly Sec. 52-442). Judgment of court or family support magistrate. Support orders. Past-due support. Reopened judgment of paternity. (a)(1)(A) If the defendant is found to be the father of the child, the court or family support magistrate shall order the defendant to stand charged with the support and maintenance of such child, with the assistance of the mother if such mother is financially able, as the court or family support magistrate finds, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 17b-179, or section 17a-90, 17b-81, 17b-223, 17b-745, 46b-129, 46b-130 or 46b-215, to be reasonably commensurate with the financial ability of the defendant, and to pay a certain sum periodically until the child attains the age of eighteen years or as otherwise provided in this subsection. If such child is unmarried and a full-time high school student, such support shall continue according to the parents' respective abilities, if such child is in need of support, until such child completes the twelfth grade or attains the age of nineteen, whichever occurs first.

      (B) The court or family support magistrate shall order the defendant to pay such sum to the complainant, or, if a town or the state has paid such expense, to the town or the state, as the case may be, and shall grant execution for the same and costs of suit taxed as in other civil actions, together with a reasonable attorney's fee, and may require the defendant to become bound with sufficient surety to perform such orders for support and maintenance. In IV-D support cases, the IV-D agency or a support enforcement agency under cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency may, upon notice to the obligor and obligee, redirect payments for the support of any child receiving child support enforcement services either to the state of Connecticut or to the present custodial party, as their interests may appear, provided neither the obligor nor the obligee objects in writing within ten business days from the mailing date of such notice. Any such notice shall be sent by first class mail to the most recent address of such obligor and obligee, as recorded in the state case registry pursuant to section 46b-218, and a copy of such notice shall be filed with the court or family support magistrate if both the obligor and obligee fail to object to the redirected payments within ten business days from the mailing date of such notice. All payments made shall be distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

      (2) In addition, the court or family support magistrate shall include in each support order in a IV-D support case a provision for the health care coverage of the child. Such provision may include an order for either parent or both parents to provide such coverage under any or all of subparagraphs (A), (B) or (C) of this subdivision.

      (A) The provision for health care coverage may include an order for either parent to name any child as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance or benefit plan carried by such parent or available to such parent at a reasonable cost as described in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. If such order requires the parent to maintain insurance available through an employer, the order shall be enforced using a National Medical Support Notice as provided in section 46b-88.

      (B) The provision for health care coverage may include an order for either parent to: (i) Apply for and maintain coverage on behalf of the child under the HUSKY Plan, Part B; or (ii) provide cash medical support, as described in subparagraphs (E) and (F) of this subdivision. An order under this subparagraph shall be made only if the cost to the parent obligated to maintain coverage under the HUSKY Plan, Part B, or provide cash medical support is reasonable, as described in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. An order under clause (i) of this subparagraph shall be made only if insurance coverage as described in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision is unavailable at reasonable cost to either parent, or inaccessible to the child.

      (C) An order for payment of the child's medical and dental expenses, other than those described in clause (ii) of subparagraph (E) of this subdivision, that are not covered by insurance or reimbursed in any other manner shall be entered in accordance with the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a.

      (D) Health care coverage shall be deemed reasonable in cost if: (i) The parent obligated to maintain such coverage would qualify as a low-income obligor under the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, based solely on such parent's income, and the cost does not exceed five per cent of such parent's net income; or (ii) the parent obligated to maintain such coverage would not qualify as a low-income obligor under such guidelines and the cost does not exceed seven and one-half per cent of such parent's net income. In either case, net income shall be determined in accordance with the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a. If a parent obligated to maintain insurance must obtain coverage for himself or herself to comply with the order to provide coverage for the child, reasonable cost shall be determined based on the combined cost of coverage for such parent and such child.

      (E) Cash medical support means (i) an amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of premiums for health insurance coverage provided by a public entity, including the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B, except as provided in subparagraph (F) of this subdivision, or by another parent through employment or otherwise, or (ii) an amount ordered to be paid, either directly to a medical provider or to the person obligated to pay such provider, toward any ongoing extraordinary medical and dental expenses of the child that are not covered by insurance or reimbursed in any other manner, provided such expenses are documented and identified specifically on the record. Cash medical support, as described in clauses (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph, may be ordered in lieu of an order under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision to be effective until such time as health insurance that is accessible to the child and reasonable in cost becomes available, or in addition to an order under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, provided the total cost to the obligated parent of insurance and cash medical support is reasonable, as described in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. An order for cash medical support shall be payable to the state or the custodial party, as their interests may appear, provided an order under clause (i) of this subparagraph shall be effective only as long as health insurance coverage is maintained. Any unreimbursed medical and dental expenses not covered by an order pursuant to clause (ii) of this subparagraph are subject to an order for unreimbursed medical and dental expenses pursuant to subparagraph (C) of this subdivision.

      (F) Cash medical support to offset the cost of any insurance payable under the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B, shall not be ordered against a noncustodial parent who is a low-income obligor, as defined in the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, or against a custodial parent of children covered under the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B.

      (3) The court or family support magistrate may also make and enforce orders for the payment by any person named herein of past-due support for which the defendant is liable in accordance with the provisions of section 17b-81, 17b-223, subsection (b) of section 17b-179, section 17a-90, 46b-129 or 46b-130 and, in IV-D cases, and order such person, provided such person is not incapacitated, to participate in work activities which may include, but shall not be limited to, job search, training, work experience and participation in the job training and retraining program established by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to section 31-3t. The defendant's liability for past-due support under this subdivision shall be limited to the three years next preceding the filing of the petition.

      (4) If the defendant fails to comply with any order made under this section, the court or family support magistrate may commit the defendant to a community correctional center, there to remain until the defendant complies therewith; but, if it appears that the mother does not apply the periodic allowance paid by the defendant toward the support of such child, and that such child is chargeable, or likely to become chargeable, to the town where it belongs, the court, on application, may discontinue such allowance to the mother, and may direct it to be paid to the selectmen of such town, for such support, and may issue execution in their favor for the same. The provisions of section 17b-743 shall apply to this section. The clerk of the court which has rendered judgment for the payment of money for the maintenance of any child under the provisions of this section shall, within twenty-four hours after such judgment has been rendered, notify the selectmen of the town where the child belongs.

      (5) Any support order made under this section may at any time thereafter be set aside, altered or modified by any court issuing such order upon a showing of a substantial change in the circumstances of the defendant or the mother of such child or upon a showing that such order substantially deviates from the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, unless there was a specific finding on the record that the application of the guidelines would be inequitable or inappropriate. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any deviation of less than fifteen per cent from the child support guidelines is not substantial and any deviation of fifteen per cent or more from the guidelines is substantial. Modification may be made of such support order without regard to whether the order was issued before, on or after May 9, 1991. No such support orders may be subject to retroactive modification, except that the court may order modification with respect to any period during which there is a pending motion for a modification of an existing support order from the date of service of the notice of such pending motion upon the opposing party pursuant to section 52-50.

      (6) Failure of the defendant to obey any order for support made under this section may be punished as for contempt of court and the costs of commitment of any person imprisoned therefor shall be paid by the state as in criminal cases.

      (b) Whenever the Superior Court or family support magistrate reopens a judgment of paternity entered pursuant to this section in which a person was found to be the father of a child who is or has been supported by the state and the court or family support magistrate finds that the person adjudicated the father is not the father of the child, the Department of Social Services shall refund to such person any money paid to the state by such person during the period such child was supported by the state.

      (c) In IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, a copy of any support order established or modified pursuant to this section or, in the case of a motion for modification of an existing support order, a notice of determination that there should be no change in the amount of the support order, shall be provided to each party and the state case registry within fourteen days after issuance of such order or determination.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8180; 1957, P.A. 462, S. 1; 1959, P.A. 115, S. 3; 639, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 297; P.A. 89-360, S. 15, 42, 45; P.A. 90-188, S. 3; P.A. 91-76, S. 3, 7; P.A. 93-329, S. 11; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 22, 38; P.A. 99-279, S. 30, 45; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 43; P.A. 04-100, S. 2; P.A. 06-149, S. 12; P.A. 07-247, S. 11.)

      History: 1959 acts stipulated court order be for support as well as maintenance, made mother's assistance depend on whether she is financially able, confined time for payments to period before child reaches 18 years rather than for such time as court judges proper, substituted provision for expense of support and maintenance before judgment is rendered for nursing expenses to that time, making whole amount rather than half payable to complainant, specified cost of suit be taxed as in other civil actions, together with attorney's fee, deleted provisions that court direct payment to welfare commissioner and issue execution on same, substituting application of Sec. 17-323a, and specified that failure of defendant to obey order for support "may be punished as for contempt of court" and that "costs of commitment of any person imprisoned therefor shall be paid by the state as in criminal cases"; 1969 act substituted "community correctional center" for "jail"; Sec. 52-442 transferred to Sec. 46b-171 in 1979; P.A. 89-360 changed "guilty" to "to be the father of the child", added language re determination of financial ability of mother, changed "weekly" to "periodically", deleted determination and order for lying-in expense and authorized court to make and enforce orders for unpaid support contributions pursuant to Sec. 17-31i(b), 17-32, 17-82e, 17-295, 46b-129 or 46b-130 and added references to family support magistrates throughout section; P.A. 90-188 amended section by adding provision permitting modification of child support orders upon showing of substantial change of circumstances or substantial deviation from child support guidelines established under P.A. 89-203 unless inequitable or inappropriate, and prohibiting retroactive modification of order of periodic payment or permanent alimony or support, except during period of pending motion for modification; P.A. 91-76 added provision re rebuttable presumption that deviation of less than 15% from child support guidelines is not substantial and any deviation of more than 15% is substantial and permitting modification of support order without regard to whether order issued before on or after May 9, 1991; P.A. 93-329 added Subsec. (b) re refund of money paid for support when judgment of paternity is reopened and person who was adjudicated the father of child who is or was supported by the state is found not to be the father of such child; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provisions requiring support order to contain order for health care coverage in IV-D case and re order to person who is not incapacitated to participate in work activities and added Subsec. (c) re copy of order, modification or other determination to each party and to state case registry within 14 days after issuance, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 99-279 amended Subsec. (a) by dividing it into six Subdivs., making technical changes and adding in Subdiv. (2) provisions re health care coverage under HUSKY Plan where coverage is unavailable at reasonable cost through a parent, effective July 1, 1999; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 amended Subsec. (a)(2) by adding provision re enforcement of employment-based order using a National Medical Support Notice; P.A. 04-100 amended Subsec. (a)(1) and (2) by adding provision re continuation of support for unmarried, full-time high school student residing with custodial parent and making technical and conforming changes; P.A. 06-149 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes and insert Subpara. designators (A) and (B) in Subdiv. (1), amended Subsec. (a)(1)(A) to delete "and residing with the custodial parent", amended Subsec. (a)(1)(B) to add provisions re redirection of payments and notice thereof and requiring payments to be distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, amended Subsec. (a)(2) to substitute exemption from insurance payment requirements for low-income obligors for prior exemption if premium payments would reduce amount of support required under child support guidelines, and amended Subsec. (a)(3) to provide that liability for past-due support shall be limited to 3 years next preceding the filing of petition, effective June 6, 2006; P.A. 07-247 amended Subsec. (a)(2) by inserting Subpara. designators (A) to (F), by specifying that court or family support magistrate may order either or both parents to provide health care coverage for the child, by specifying that either parent may be ordered to name a child as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance plan carried by or available to such parent at a reasonable cost, by describing reasonable cost re maintaining health care coverage, by deleting language that required applying for coverage under HUSKY Plan, Part B only if noncustodial parent had sufficient ability to pay the appropriate premium, by providing that court or family support magistrate may order either parent to provide for coverage under HUSKY Plan, Part B, or alternatively enter order for cash medical support as long as any such order was reasonable, by defining "cash medical support" and requirements related to entry of a cash medical support order and by making technical changes.

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      Sec. 46b-172. (Formerly Sec. 52-442a). Acknowledgment of paternity and agreement to support; judgment. Review of acknowledgment of paternity. (a)(1) In lieu of or in conclusion of proceedings under section 46b-160, a written acknowledgment of paternity executed and sworn to by the putative father of the child when accompanied by (A) an attested waiver of the right to a blood test, the right to a trial and the right to an attorney, and (B) a written affirmation of paternity executed and sworn to by the mother of the child shall have the same force and effect as a judgment of the Superior Court. It shall be considered a legal finding of paternity without requiring or permitting judicial ratification, and shall be binding on the person executing the same whether such person is an adult or a minor, subject to subdivision (2) of this subsection. Such acknowledgment shall not be binding unless, prior to the signing of any affirmation or acknowledgment of paternity, the mother and the putative father are given oral and written notice of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing such affirmation or acknowledgment. The notice to the mother shall include, but shall not be limited to, notice that the affirmation of paternity may result in rights of custody and visitation, as well as a duty of support, in the person named as father. The notice to the putative father shall include, but not be limited to, notice that such father has the right to contest paternity, including the right to appointment of counsel, a genetic test to determine paternity and a trial by the Superior Court or a family support magistrate and that acknowledgment of paternity will make such father liable for the financial support of the child until the child's eighteenth birthday. In addition, the notice shall inform the mother and the father that DNA testing may be able to establish paternity with a high degree of accuracy and may, under certain circumstances, be available at state expense. The notices shall also explain the right to rescind the acknowledgment, as set forth in subdivision (2) of this subsection, including the address where such notice of rescission should be sent, and shall explain that the acknowledgment cannot be challenged after sixty days, except in court upon a showing of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact.

      (2) The mother and the acknowledged father shall have the right to rescind such affirmation or acknowledgment in writing within the earlier of (A) sixty days, or (B) the date of an agreement to support such child approved in accordance with subsection (b) of this section or an order of support for such child entered in a proceeding under subsection (c) of this section. An acknowledgment executed in accordance with subdivision (1) of this subsection may be challenged in court or before a family support magistrate after the rescission period only on the basis of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact which may include evidence that he is not the father, with the burden of proof upon the challenger. During the pendency of any such challenge, any responsibilities arising from such acknowledgment shall continue except for good cause shown.

      (3) All written notices, waivers, affirmations and acknowledgments required under subdivision (1) of this subsection, and rescissions authorized under subdivision (2) of this subsection, shall be on forms prescribed by the Department of Public Health, provided such acknowledgment form includes the minimum requirements specified by the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. All acknowledgments and rescissions executed in accordance with this subsection shall be filed in the paternity registry established and maintained by the Department of Public Health under section 19a-42a.

      (4) An acknowledgment of paternity signed in any other state according to its procedures shall be given full faith and credit by this state.

      (b) (1) An agreement to support the child by payment of a periodic sum until the child attains the age of eighteen years or as otherwise provided in this subsection, together with provisions for reimbursement for past-due support based upon ability to pay in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 17b-179, or section 17a-90, 17b-81, 17b-223, 46b-129 or 46b-130, and reasonable expense of prosecution of the petition, when filed with and approved by a judge of the Superior Court, or in IV-D support cases and matters brought under sections 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, a family support magistrate at any time, shall have the same force and effect, retroactively or prospectively in accordance with the terms of said agreement, as an order of support entered by the court, and shall be enforceable and subject to modification in the same manner as is provided by law for orders of the court in such cases. If such child is unmarried and a full-time high school student, such support shall continue according to the parents' respective abilities, if such child is in need of support, until such child completes the twelfth grade or attains the age of nineteen, whichever occurs first.

      (2) Past-due support in such cases shall be limited to the three years next preceding the date of the filing of such agreements to support.

      (3) Payments under such agreement shall be made to the petitioner, except that in IV-D support cases, as defined in subsection (b) of section 46b-231, payments shall be made to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or its designated agency and distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. In IV-D support cases, the IV-D agency or a support enforcement agency under cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency may, upon notice to the obligor and obligee, redirect payments for the support of any child receiving child support enforcement services either to the state of Connecticut or to the present custodial party, as their interests may appear, provided neither the obligor nor the obligee objects in writing within ten business days from the mailing date of such notice. Any such notice shall be sent by first class mail to the most recent address of such obligor and obligee, as recorded in the state case registry pursuant to section 46b-218, and a copy of such notice shall be filed with the court or family support magistrate if both the obligor and obligee fail to object to the redirected payments within ten business days from the mailing date of such notice.

      (4) Such written agreements to support shall be sworn to, and shall be binding on the person executing the same whether he is an adult or a minor.

      (c) (1) At any time after the signing of any acknowledgment of paternity, upon the application of any interested party, the court or any judge thereof or any family support magistrate in IV-D support cases and in matters brought under sections 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, shall cause a summons, signed by such judge or family support magistrate, by the clerk of the court or by a commissioner of the Superior Court, to be issued, requiring the acknowledged father to appear in court at a time and place as determined by the clerk but not more than ninety days after the issuance of the summons, to show cause why the court or the family support magistrate assigned to the judicial district in IV-D support cases should not enter judgment for support of the child by payment of a periodic sum until the child attains the age of eighteen years or as otherwise provided in this subsection, together with provision for reimbursement for past-due support based upon ability to pay in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 17b-179, or section 17a-90, 17b-81, 17b-223, 46b-129 or 46b-130, a provision for health coverage of the child as required by section 46b-215, and reasonable expense of the action under this subsection. If such child is unmarried and a full-time high school student such support shall continue according to the parents' respective abilities, if such child is in need of support, until such child completes the twelfth grade or attains the age of nineteen, whichever occurs first.

      (2) Past-due support in such cases shall be limited to the three years next preceding the filing of a petition pursuant to this section. Such court or family support magistrate, in IV-D support cases, may also order the acknowledged father who is subject to a plan for reimbursement of past-due support and is not incapacitated to participate in work activities which may include, but shall not be limited to, job search, training, work experience and participation in the job training and retraining program established by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to section 31-3t.

      (3) Proceedings to obtain such orders of support shall be commenced by the service of such summons on the acknowledged father. A state marshal or proper officer shall make due return of process to the court not less than twenty-one days before the date assigned for hearing.

      (4) The prior judgment as to paternity shall be res judicata as to that issue for all paternity acknowledgments filed with the court on or after March 1, 1981, but before July 1, 1997, and shall not be reconsidered by the court unless the person seeking review of the acknowledgment petitions the superior court for the judicial district having venue for a hearing on the issue of paternity within three years of such judgment. In addition to such review, if the acknowledgment of paternity was filed prior to March 1, 1981, the acknowledgment of paternity may be reviewed by denying the allegation of paternity in response to the initial petition for support, whenever it is filed.

      (5) All payments under this subsection shall be made to the petitioner, except that in IV-D support cases, as defined in subsection (b) of section 46b-231, payments shall be made to the state, acting by and through the IV-D agency and distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. In IV-D support cases, the IV-D agency or a support enforcement agency under cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency may, upon notice to the obligor and obligee, redirect payments for the support of any child receiving child support enforcement services either to the state of Connecticut or to the present custodial party, as their interests may appear, provided neither the obligor nor the obligee objects in writing within ten business days from the mailing date of such notice. Any such notice shall be sent by first class mail to the most recent address of such obligor and obligee, as recorded in the state case registry pursuant to section 46b-218, and a copy of such notice shall be filed with the court or family support magistrate if both the obligor and obligee fail to object to the redirected payments within ten business days from the mailing date of such notice.

      (d) Whenever a petition is filed for review of an acknowledgment of paternity of a child who is or has been supported by the state, and review of such acknowledgment of paternity is granted by the court pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and upon review, the court or family support magistrate finds that the petitioner is not the father of the child, the Department of Social Services shall refund to the petitioner any money paid by the petitioner to the state during any period such child was supported by the state.

      (e) In IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, a copy of any support order established pursuant to this section shall be provided to each party and the state case registry within fourteen days after issuance of such order or determination.

      (February, 1965, P.A. 406, S. 5; 1971, P.A. 439, S. 3; P.A. 74-183, S. 111, 291; P.A. 75-406, S. 7, 11; P.A. 76-436, S. 501, 681; P.A. 81-274; P.A. 82-6; P.A. 86-359, S. 40, 44; P.A. 89-360, S. 43, 45; P.A. 90-213, S. 20, 56; P.A. 91-391, S. 4; P.A. 93-187, S. 3; 93-262, S. 1, 87; 93-329, S. 12; 93-396, S. 17; 93-435, S. 59, 95; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 58, 75; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 23, 38; P.A. 99-193, S. 7, 16; P.A. 00-99, S. 94, 154; P.A. 01-195, S. 42, 181; P.A. 04-100, S. 3; P.A. 06-149, S. 13; P.A. 07-247, S. 12, 13.)

      History: 1971 act added provisions re affirmation of paternity executed and sworn to by child's mother, required that payments be made through family relations division of circuit court and added Subsec. (b); P.A. 74-183 replaced circuit court with court of common pleas, "circuit" with "county" and family relations division with family relations office, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 75-406 replaced "county" with "geographical area"; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; Sec. 52-442a transferred to Sec. 46b-172 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 52-435a revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 81-274 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that the acknowledgment of paternity will not act as res judicata if the person seeking review of the acknowledgment petitions the court for a new trial; P.A. 82-6 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing the provision that allowed a person seeking review of the acknowledgment to petition for a "new trial under the provisions of section 52-270" and with a provision allowing a person to petition for a hearing on the issue of paternity within three years of the judgment or of October 1, 1982, whichever is later; P.A. 86-359 substituted "judicial district" for "geographical area" in Subsecs. (a) and (b) and added references to actions taken by family support magistrates in IV-D support cases; P.A. 89-360 changed "weekly" to "periodic", deleted provision re reimbursement for lying-in expense, added provision re reimbursement for past due support based on ability to pay in accordance with Sec. 17-31i(b), Sec. 17-32, 17-82e, 17-295, 46b-129 or 46b-130 and added provision re limitation of past due support to three years next preceding date of filing of such agreements to support; P.A. 90-213 in Subsecs. (a) and (b) deleted requirement that payments made under agreements shall be made to the family relations office with requirement that such payments shall be made to the petitioner or to the bureau of collection services; P.A. 91-391 amended Subsec. (a) by adding requirement that acknowledgment of paternity be accompanied by attested waiver of right to blood test, right to trial and right to an attorney and amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision that prior judgment of paternity shall be res judicata for paternity acknowledgments filed on or after March 1, 1981, and if acknowledgment was filed prior to March 1, 1981, acknowledgment may be reviewed by denying allegation of paternity in response to initial petition for support; P.A. 93-187 made technical changes re commencement of paternity proceedings, summons and service of process; P.A. 93-262 and P.A. 93-435 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-329 added Subsec. (c) re refund to petitioner of money paid by the petitioner to the state during period child supported by state where acknowledgment of paternity is reviewed and court finds petitioner is not father of the child; P.A. 93-396 made technical changes; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 made technical changes, effective January 1, 1998; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (a) by designating certain provisions as Subdiv. (1) and adding provisions in Subdivs. (1) and in new Subdiv. (2) that written acknowledgment accompanied by waiver of blood test and written affirmation of paternity shall be considered legal finding without judicial ratification and binding if have notice re consequences, right of putative father to contest paternity, right to rescind acknowledgment, and that acknowledgment cannot be challenged after 60 days, except upon showing of fraud, duress or material mistake in fact, adding Subdiv. (3) re names, waivers, affirmations, acknowledgments and rescissions on forms prescribed by Department of Health and filed in paternity registry maintained by department, and by adding Subdiv. (4) re full faith and credit to acknowledgment of paternity signed in another state, designated certain provisions formerly contained in Subsec. (a) as Subsec. (b), redesignated existing Subsecs. (b) and (c) as Subsecs. (c) and (d), amended Subsec. (c) to provide authority to court in IV-D cases to order acknowledged father to participate in work activities, added Subsec. (e) re support order in IV-D cases to be provided to parties and filed in state case registry and made technical changes throughout section, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 99-193 amended Subsec. (a)(1) by deleting provision re filing affirmation of paternity with the Superior Court for the judicial district in which the mother or putative father resides and by making technical changes, effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 00-99 replaced reference in Subsec. (c) to sheriff with state marshal, effective December 1, 2000; P.A. 01-195 made technical changes in Subsec. (c) for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 11, 2001; P.A. 04-100 amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) by adding provisions re continuation of support for unmarried, full-time high school student residing with custodial parent and making technical and conforming changes; P.A. 06-149 amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) to insert Subdiv. designators and make technical changes, amended Subsecs. (b)(1) and (c)(1) to delete "and residing with the custodial parent", amended Subsecs. (b)(3) and (c)(5) to add provisions re redirection of payments and notice thereof and requiring payments to be distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, and amended Subsec. (c)(2) to limit liability for past-due support to three years next preceding the filing of a petition, effective June 6, 2006 (Revisor's note: In Subsec. (b)(3), the words "obligor nor the oblige" were changed editorially by the Revisors to "obligor nor the obligee" for consistency); P.A. 07-247 amended Subsecs. (b)(4) and (c)(3) by deleting requirement that agreements and applications, summonses and orders, respectively, be "on forms prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator".

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      Sec. 46b-172a. Filing of claim for paternity by putative father. Child as party. Attorney General as party. Hearing. Three-judge court. Rights and responsibilities upon adjudication or acknowledgment of paternity. Claim for paternity after death of putative father. (a) Any person claiming to be the father of a child born out of wedlock may at any time, but no later than sixty days after the date of notice under section 45a-716, file a claim for paternity with the court of probate for the district in which either the mother or the child resides, on forms provided by such court. The claim shall contain the claimant's name and address, the name and last-known address of the mother and the month and year of the birth or expected birth of the child. Not later than five days after the filing of a claim for paternity, the judge of the court of probate shall cause a certified copy of such claim to be served upon the mother or prospective mother of such child by personal service or service at her usual place of abode, and to the Attorney General by first class mail. The Attorney General may file an appearance and shall be and remain a party to the action if the child is receiving or has received aid or care from the state, or if the child is receiving child support enforcement services, as defined in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231. The claim for paternity shall be admissible in any action for paternity under section 46b-160, and shall estop the claimant from denying his paternity of such child and shall contain language that he acknowledges liability for contribution to the support and education of the child after its birth and for contribution to the pregnancy-related medical expenses of the mother.

      (b) If a claim for paternity is filed by the father of any minor child born out of wedlock, the court of probate shall schedule a hearing on such claim, send notice of the hearing to all parties involved and proceed accordingly.

      (c) The child shall be made a party to the action. Said child shall be represented by a guardian ad litem appointed by the court in accordance with section 45a-708. Payment shall be made in accordance with such section from funds appropriated to the Judicial Department, however, if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such purposes, such payment shall be made from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

      (d) In the event that the mother or the claimant father is a minor, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent him or her in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-708. Payment shall be made in accordance with said section from funds appropriated to the Judicial Department, however, if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such purposes, such payment shall be made from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

      (e) Upon the motion of the putative father, the mother, or his or her counsel, or the judge of probate having jurisdiction over such application, filed not later than three days prior to any hearing scheduled on such claim, the Probate Court Administrator shall appoint a three-judge court from among the several judges of probate to hear such claim. Such three-judge court shall consist of at least one judge who is an attorney-at-law admitted to practice in this state. The judge of the court of probate having jurisdiction over such application under the provisions of this section shall be a member, provided such judge may disqualify himself in which case all three members of such court shall be appointed by the Probate Court Administrator. Such three-judge court when convened shall have all the powers and duties set forth under sections 17a-75 to 17a-83, inclusive, 17a-450 to 17a-484, inclusive, 17a-495 to 17a-528, inclusive, 17a-540 to 17a-550, inclusive, 17a-560 to 17a-576, inclusive, and 17a-615 to 17a-618, inclusive, and shall be subject to all of the provisions of law as if it were a single-judge court. The judges of such court shall designate a chief judge from among their members. All records for any case before the three-judge court shall be maintained in the court of probate having jurisdiction over the matter as if the three-judge court had not been appointed.

      (f) By filing a claim under this section, the putative father submits to the jurisdiction of the court of probate.

      (g) Once alleged parental rights of the father have been adjudicated in his favor under subsection (b) of this section, or acknowledged as provided for under section 46b-172, his rights and responsibilities shall be equivalent to those of the mother, including those rights defined under section 45a-606. Thereafter, disputes involving custody, visitation or support shall be transferred to the Superior Court under chapter 815j, except that the probate court may enter a temporary order for custody, visitation or support until an order is entered by the Superior Court.

      (h) Failing perfection of parental rights as prescribed by this section, any person claiming to be the father of a child born out of wedlock (1) who has not been adjudicated the father of such child by a court of competent jurisdiction, or (2) who has not acknowledged in writing that he is the father of such child, or (3) who has not contributed regularly to the support of such child or (4) whose name does not appear on the birth certificate shall cease to be a legal party in interest in any proceeding concerning the custody or welfare of the child, including but not limited to guardianship and adoption, unless he has shown a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility for the child's welfare.

      (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, after the death of the father of a child born out of wedlock, a party deemed by the court to have a sufficient interest may file a claim for paternity on behalf of such father with the probate court for the district in which either the putative father resided or the party filing the claim resides. If a claim for paternity is filed pursuant to this subsection, the court of probate shall schedule a hearing on such claim, send notice of the hearing to all parties involved and proceed accordingly.

      (P.A. 79-592, S. 2; P.A. 80-483, S. 123, 124, 186; P.A. 90-31, S. 8, 9; P.A. 91-109, S. 3; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 94-27, S. 15, 17; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-170, S. 8, 23; P.A. 97-90, S. 5, 6; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 24, 38; P.A. 98-52, S. 2; P.A. 99-84, S. 8; P.A. 06-149, S. 14; P.A. 07-184, S. 8.)

      History: P.A. 80-483 made technical corrections in Subsecs. (f) and (h); P.A. 90-31 amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) by changing payment of guardian ad litem from funds appropriated to the judicial department to the probate court administration fund; P.A. 91-109 added Subsec. (i) permitting party deemed by the court to have sufficient interest to file claim for paternity on behalf of father after death of father with the probate court for district in which either the putative father resided or the party filing the claim resides and providing for notice and hearing for such claim; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-27 amended Subsec. (e) to delete reference to Secs. 17a-580 to 17a-603, inclusive, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-170 amended Subsecs. (c) and (d) by changing funding of compensation of guardian ad litem from Probate Court Administration Fund to funds appropriated to Judicial Department, unless funds not included in budget of Judicial Department for such purpose, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 97-90 revised effective date of P.A. 96-170 but without affecting this section; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (f) by deleting provision re waiver of right to trial, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 98-52 amended version of Subsecs. (c) and (d) which became obsolete on July 1, 1998; P.A. 99-84 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting requirement that a certified copy of such claim be mailed to the vital records section of the Department of Public Health; P.A. 06-149 amended Subsec. (a) to add provisions re Attorney General filing an appearance and being a party and substitute "not later than" for "within", effective January 1, 2007; P.A. 07-184 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute "served upon" for "mailed by certified mail to", and "by personal service or service at her usual place of abode" for "at the last-known address shown on the claim for paternity", and to insert "by first class mail".

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