When is it necessary to take a paternity test?
Paternity tests are taken to determine the biological father of a child. Sometimes
paternity testing is done for nothing more than peace of mind. Other times
the court may order a man take a paternity test in connection with a
child custody or
child support case.
For example, if a woman wants a man to pay child support, a judge may order
the man to take a paternity test. If the test proves he's the biological
father then the judge can order him to make child support payments. Similarly,
if a man wants custody or
visitation rights against the mother's wishes, he can ask the court to order a paternity
test. If the test proves he's the father then he can enforce his parental
rights to child custody or visitation.
Do I need court permission to take a paternity test?
No. You can get a paternity test on your own if your reason for taking
the test is to achieve peace of mind. However, if you want to use the
results of the test in court for a child support or child custody matter,
you will need to get approval from the court.
What if the alleged father is dead or can't be found?
A paternity test can still be conducted without the presence of the man.
The man's parents or siblings can be tested, or technicians can test
samples of the man's hair, blood, or body tissue if available.
Can a paternity test be done before the baby is born?
Yes, however, paternity testing can only be done during the 10th and 24th week of the woman's pregnancy. Furthermore, it's important to
speak with a doctor to ensure the testing will not pose any risks or danger
to the fetus. If it's already past the 24th week, the testing must wait until after the baby is born.
What if the mother won't consent to the test or participate?
You can ask the court to order the mother to participate. Some courts won't
even accept paternity test results if the mother wasn't involved in
the testing. That being said, it is possible to take a test without the
mother, however, a more extensive analysis may be needed.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about paternity testing,
Claery & Hammond, LLP would be happy to answer your questions and
address your concerns. To set up a consultation to discuss your paternity
contact the office today!