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How is paternity determined?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2023 | Child Custody

In some cases, paternity cannot be assumed. Maybe a couple isn’t married, for instance, or isn’t even in a relationship. They may believe that someone is the father, but this isn’t automatically assumed the same way that it usually is with married couples.

In a situation like this, a DNA test will be used to determine paternity. These tests are highly accurate. They are much more accurate than older versions of paternity tests, which has made DNA testing the standard in the industry today. If a DNA test says that someone is the parent, that can be used as evidence in court.

Why would this be important?

This can be important for both sides. For instance, a man may want to have a relationship with a child that he believes is his. He wants to have custody rights. If he was not married to the child’s mother, a way to establish these rights is by using a DNA test to determine that he is definitely that child’s parent. He can then petition for custody rights, even if the child’s mother was originally against it.

On the other side, a woman may believe that someone is the child’s father and be trying to seek child support. The man may deny it or claim that someone else is the father because he doesn’t want to pay support. A DNA test that establishes paternity gives the court the right to order that the person does or does not have to pay support, depending on the results of that test.

Situations involving paternity tests can get complicated, but the good news is that these tests are accurate. Take the time to look into your legal rights as you work your way through this process.