All states have their procedures on how to dispute a paternity test. According to the California Courts, either parent can dispute the parentage of a child. You can find the necessary forms online on the local county government website to file for a dispute. If a father wants to file a dispute for a paternity test, then he can seek to order a genetic test to determine who the biological father is. Now, they also have options for same-sex couples seeking to file for a paternity dispute.
However, not all situations may permit a dispute. For instance, if an existing court order states the biological father, the mother may not be able to file for a dispute on this. Again, this may vary depending on the state you reside in, and it is important to check your local regulations.
Usually, a genetic test is mandatory to determine mistaken paternity, especially when a man is ordered to pay child support but does not believe he is the father of the child(ren). It is recommended to obtain the lab results from an accredited laboratory. If a man wants to terminate the paternity, he must file a petition with the court asking to end it.
Furthermore, the court must hold a pretrial hearing to decide whether the case needs to proceed. Once the court determines the case is viable, the legal father and child must complete a genetic test. Based on the results, the court will decide to continue or terminate the child support. However, the man is still legally responsible for any interest from unpaid child support.
If you are having issues and need assistance with your case, you can contact the local legal experts in your state. You can check your local county court website to determine what resources they have available for you to handle this situation.
How Does DNA Testing Work?
According to Wiki, DNA paternity testing is used to determine the biological father’s identity. Establishing paternity is important because courts determine child support payments based on the results. Both the father’s and the child’s duties are in jeopardy. Creating no doubt for the families and having a valid paternity test can calm the situation.
Furthermore, the tests can also reveal the likelihood of someone being a biological grandparent. Besides genetic testing, other methods are available, such as ABO blood group typing, analysis of various other proteins and enzymes, or using human leukocyte antigen antigens. Recently, paternity testing can be performed while the woman is still pregnant from a blood draw.
Moreover, DNA testing is the most advanced and accurate technology to determine parentage. The probable rates of failure in a paternity case are extremely low, meaning 0% of failure when it comes to the alleged father. The probability of parentage is usually 99.99% when the alleged parent is biologically related to the child. There may be a case where the result can have a false negative. However, this is extremely rare.
In these cases, their reproductive tissue has a different genetic makeup from the tissue sampled for the test. This can seem complicated to comprehend; therefore, if you have any further questions regarding the scientific side, you can research more on the subject. Legally, the paternity tests performed with the proper tools are considered valid.
A DNA test is conducted by collecting cheek cells (inside of the cheek) through a swab. Some professionals perform these procedures and ensure that the tests are conducted correctly. These swabs have wooden or plastic stick handles with cotton on synthetic tips. The collector rubs the inside of a person’s cheek to collect as many buccal cells as possible.
After this, they are sent to the necessary accredited laboratory for testing the samples collected. You must also collect samples from the alleged father or mother and the child.
How Are the Paternity Testing Results Utilized?
All states have a system for using the paternity test results in these cases. For instance, in Pennsylvania, the law permits an alleged father (defendant) to acknowledge that he is the child’s father or request testing to determine paternity if he is ordered by the court to pay child support.
Acknowledgment of Paternity forms can be signed in the hospital at a child’s birth or a support establishment conference. This allows the families to know who the legal father is and who will be responsible for providing financial support to the child.
As mentioned earlier, the paternity tests are completed by collecting the cheek cells of the alleged father and compared with the child. Usually, the professionals will do a swab from the inside of the cheeks to do the test. Once the samples are completed, then they are sent to the laboratory. The results could take up to four to six weeks. After the results, they will be sent to both parties.
They would either come back as 0% or 99.99% depending on the results. Once the biological father is determined, the court can order a child support order. However, if the defendant requests a trial to challenge the test results, it is his burden to prove that he is not the father, as opposed to the state’s burden to prove that he is the father. In these situations, the father must demonstrate to the court with proof and evidence that the results are not accurate. If you need a family lawyer to represent you in court for this case, you can contact a legal advisor in your area.
Moreover, the court will ask the parties to sign a stipulation. This written statement states that if the test results come back at 99% or higher, the defendant gives up their right to fight the results in court. Also, the mother agrees that if the results come back at 0%, the defendant is not the child’s father, and the case is dismissed without further involvement of the parties.
Lastly, as a general matter, it is important to establish paternity. It allows the families to access each other and ensure that the parent and child’s rights are protected. For instance, it can allow the child to receive government benefits and gives them the right to inherit from you.
When Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer?
As stated above, resolving paternity disputes can allow families to reap the benefits of parenthood. It ensures that the families have access to each other. It helps to create a bond with the parents. Furthermore, if you are wrongfully claimed as the child’s father, you can dispute this in court through a valid DNA test. You can contact a local paternity lawyer to assist you with any further questions or corrections.
Paternity issues can be complex and may involve various family laws and legal concepts. However, an experienced lawyer in your area will be able to explain what rights and legal options you have according to the specific laws in your area.
Also, if any legal disputes arise in connection with paternity, and legal action becomes necessary, your lawyer can provide you with representation in a court of law as needed. Your attorney can be on hand to provide guidance during the process from start to finish.