40-6-114. Pretrial recommendations. (1) On the basis of the information produced at the pretrial hearing, the judge or referee conducting the hearing shall evaluate the probability of determining the existence or nonexistence of the father and child relationship in a trial and whether a judicial declaration of the relationship would be in the best interest of the child. On the basis of the evaluation, an appropriate recommendation for settlement must be made to the parties, which may include any of the following:
(a) that the action be dismissed with or without prejudice;
(b) that the matter be compromised by an agreement among the alleged father, the mother, and the child, in which the father and child relationship is not determined but in which a defined economic obligation is undertaken by the alleged father in favor of the child and, if appropriate, in favor of the mother, subject to approval by the judge or referee conducting the hearing. In reviewing the obligation undertaken by the alleged father in a compromise agreement, the judge or referee conducting the hearing shall consider the best interest of the child in the light of the factors enumerated in 40-6-116(5), discounted by the improbability, as it appears to the judge or referee, of establishing the alleged father's paternity or nonpaternity of the child in a trial of the action. In the best interest of the child, the court may order that the alleged father's identity be kept confidential. In that case, the court may designate a person or agency to receive from the alleged father and disburse on behalf of the child all amounts paid by the alleged father in fulfillment of obligations imposed on the alleged father.
(c) that the alleged father voluntarily acknowledge paternity of the child.
(2) If the parties accept a recommendation made in accordance with subsection (1), judgment must be entered accordingly.
(3) If a party refuses to accept a recommendation made under subsection (1) and blood tests have not been taken, the court shall require the parties to submit to blood tests, if practicable. Thereafter, the judge or referee shall make an appropriate final recommendation. If a party refuses to accept the final recommendation, the action must be set for trial.
(4) If the scientific evidence resulting from the blood tests conclusively shows that the defendant could not have been the father, then the action must be dismissed.
(5) The guardian ad litem may accept or refuse to accept a recommendation under this section.
(6) The informal hearing may be terminated and the action set for trial if the judge or referee conducting the hearing finds unlikely that all parties would accept a recommendation made under subsection (1) or (3).
History: En. 61-314 by Sec. 14, Ch. 512, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 61-314; amd. Sec. 1582, Ch. 56, L. 2009.