Paternity & DNA Testing: A Parent’s Legal Rights

When there are questions raised concerning the true father of a child, many legal concerns can quickly become a pertinent issue. There are a wide variety of circumstances in which legally declaring the father of a child becomes necessary. However, the father is not the only party that can demand this type of legal testing be conducted. Paternity testing can be demanded by both the mother and the potential father of a child. DNA testing in a court setting can become necessary in order to secure child-support payments and to establish visitation and custody rights for the parents of the child. This type of suit in court is technically know as a Paternity Action. The kind of testing involved is extremely reliable as well. DNA testing in a court setting can show paternity with accuracy rates that are 99 percent and above. Additionally, paternity can be ruled out through testing with 100 percent accuracy.

Paternity testing is actually DNA profiling. The test involves a direct examination of the child’s genetic material. The genetic characteristics are then compared to that of the mother. Any genetic markers that do not match the mother must be given to the child through the genetics of the father. The father is then genetically profiled. If the genetic markers that are absent in the mother are not present in the father, then he is ruled out as the true parent of the child. Should the father have the genetic material that is absent in the mother, then the probability of him having fathered the child is calculated.

How Can An Experienced Family Law Attorney Help?

Because this science is not 100 percent accurate in all respects, it is wise for both parents to have legal representation on their side as the paternity hearing progresses. There is plenty at stake once the ruling has been made. Any appeals after the fact can also take a considerable amount of time to play out without an experienced legal aid on your side. There are also a number of complicated aspects to paternity suits that people have trouble navigating without the help of a lawyer. For instance, unborn children can be tested, the test can be given in the absence of the mother, and the party responsible for paying for the test can vary from case to case. A lawyer can help to determine whether the financial responsibility falls on the person requesting the test, both parties involved in the suit, or a government agency that is involved in the paternity hearing.

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