Can paternity be proven?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2024 | Family Law |

In some cases, there will be questions about paternity that could hinder someone’s access to their child. For instance, a father may want parenting time rights but not be listed on the birth certificate. Or a mother may be interested in getting child support payments from that father, but he claims he doesn’t need to make those payments because he thinks someone else is the father.

These are just a few examples, but you can imagine how complex this situation may become. If the couple cannot agree, is there any way to prove paternity? How can you settle this issue when both sides have such different claims? 

Modern DNA testing

The good news is that DNA testing has made this much easier than it was in the past. Modern tests are more than 99% accurate. When someone goes through one of these tests, it can give them a definitive answer to whether or not they are the child’s father. This result can be used as evidence in a court case when one parent is seeking either child support payments or custody rights, as noted above.

Some DNA tests involve blood tests, but they are not always required. Cheek swabs can also be used. 

One important thing to note is that the testing does have to be carried out in a lab, by medical professionals. Someone can’t take a consumer paternity test that they ordered online. If they did, those results could not be used in court because the courts can’t determine if the test was administered correctly or even if the right person was involved. 

So it is important to have the testing done correctly when using the results for legal purposes. It is also critical to know exactly what steps to take during this process.

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