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Red Flag: Multiple Alleged Fathers

Legal Authorities

OAC 340:25-5-117

Instruction to Staff 340:25-5-117


  1. When a child has multiple alleged fathers, CSS staff opens cases on all alleged biological fathers. CSS staff:
    1. determines which case to pursue first per OAC 340:25-5-176 and updates the Paternity Pended Obligation (EPOC) screen with that alleged biological father;
    2. updates all other cases as secondary alleged biological fathers on the EPOC screen; and
    3. updates the OSIS Case Log in each case to reflect multiple alleged biological fathers and the legal determination made to proceed against one of the alleged fathers.
  2. Secondary alleged biological father cases listed on the EPOC screen are exempt from audit timeframes.
  3. When a case against an alleged biological father is eligible for closure per Section 303.11 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the case against that alleged biological father is closed.

When a child has no established father, CSS wants to be sure to only file an action against the man who is most likely to be the child’s biological father. However, in some cases, the biological parent (BP) or custodial parent (CP) may not be sure who the biological father is and indicate multiple possible fathers. This information may surface in the following ways  – please note that these are just examples, as potential multiple fathers can come to light in other ways – :

  1. In the course of beginning a case Child Support Specialists will request that the applicant complete a Parentage Questionnaire (P04). In reviewing the responses provided by the BP or CP, the CS specialist may notice the mention of multiple possible fathers for one child. Locate processes and paternity establishment processes should be initiated for each possible father in a sequential manner, beginning with the most likely father. An additional Multiple Father Questionnaire (P508) is available to collect information on multiple alleged fathers.
  2. Reviewing case logs of an applicant may reveal a mention of more than one possible father. If paternity has not been established, more information on other possible fathers should be obtained from the CP or BP.
  3. In preparing to interview a CP or BP about their case you may notice reference to a most likely potential father. In the interview while discussing this with the customer, it may come to light there could be other possible fathers. In that case, note should be taken, and the other names should be added for further investigation.

The exact procedure for handling the Red Flag – Multiple Alleged Fathers depends on the office where the case is located. However, in most cases, CS specialists and the State’s Attorney will try to narrow down the list of alleged fathers to the most likely man.

See the CS Quest article Using EPOC to Manage Multiple Alleged Fathers for how to keep track of multiple alleged fathers in OSIS.