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 issue, please contact the office today!