The legal process of proving paternity is essential and has huge ramifications for parents and kids. A court-ordered paternity test can clarify the situation and legally establish parenthood when paternity is in question. Even while many persons in these situations seek legal counsel, the procedure can be completed without one.
However, complications can arise when the alleged father does not want to participate in finding out if they are the father of the child or children. The process for getting a court-ordered paternity test without a lawyer’s help is described in this article.
Why is Establishing Paternity Rights Important?
Establishing paternity for a child is important for both the child and the parents. Below are some of the benefits of knowing the paternity of a child:
- Having family medical information
- Having the father’s name on the birth certificate
- Having financial support from two parents
- Having rights to the father’s Social Security and VA benefits
Often, establishing paternity allows each parent the legal right to seek a child support order from the court or to request a court order for parenting time with the child.
Why Do You Need a Prenatal Paternity Test?
It is possible to wait until the baby is born to establish paternity. However, there may be times when it is important to perform a paternity test before a baby is born.
Paternity may impact several aspects of the baby’s and mother’s lives, including:
- The child’s ability to inherit from their father’s estate
- The child’s ability to inherit veteran’s benefits or social security benefits from their father
- Establishing custody and visitation schedules and obtaining child support
- Understanding of the child’s medical history to better provide medical care, and more.
Each parent may have specific reasons for needing a prenatal paternity test. A mother may want or need to collect child support on behalf of her unborn child prenatal paternity test near me. Pregnancy can be expensive.
Pregnancy can take a financial toll. Pregnancies are often highly expensive between prenatal vitamins and numerous doctor’s appointments plus ultrasounds and other medical tests. Some states allow a mother to seek child support from the baby’s father before birth. However, typically, the court requires a paternity test in such situations. No prenatal paternity test means no child support.
A father may also be interested in establishing paternity before the baby is born. Some men want to be a part of their child’s life. They are willing, able, and eager to take responsibility for their child. However, occasionally, the mother does not want the baby’s biological father in their lives.
Further, if a mother is married, the child is presumed to be the husband’s child. If a man believes he has fathered a child with a married woman, that man must establish paternity to overcome the presumption that the baby is the husband’s child instead.
When the baby is born, a father can also sign an affidavit of paternity. This is essentially a voluntary, legal admission of paternity. No paternity test is usually required, although some states do require a formal test. There is a risk to a father that someone else could sign this document and become the legal father instead.
For a father who is not married to the baby’s mother, it is critical that the father seek a paternity test to secure his rights to custody and visitation of the child.
Why Would You Need a Paternity Attorney?
While establishing paternity seems like it would be a reasonably straightforward process, there are many reasons to work with a paternity lawyer, such as:
- Especially for unmarried fathers, establishing paternity can be a complex process. An experienced paternity lawyer can work with you to try and secure equal rights and responsibilities for your child as their mother.
- Filing the appropriate paperwork can be tedious and time-consuming. A paternity lawyer can help streamline this process and make sure you have the proper paperwork and documents to support your case.
- A paternity lawyer can also help if you suspect paternity fraud. While this is not very common, sometimes a mother will knowingly falsely document a man as the father of a child who is not the true biological father.
How do you get a Court Admissible Paternity test?
A court admissible paternity test helps to establish paternity in a family court case. Only a judge or magistrate may order paternity testing. In order to get a court order, you must file a paternity petition with the court. If the judge accepts your petition, then the judge will issue a court order to the defendant, which can be either the alleged father or mother.
Remember, you do not need a court order for a judge to submit a DNA test result as legally admissible evidence if the mother and the unmarried alleged father agree to perform the paternity test. It is important to note that all legal DNA testing services we provide are performed with a partner accredited AABB DNA Testing laboratory to establish a legal chain of custody.
Can a Mother Refuse a Paternity Test?
Whether a mother can refuse a paternity test depends on the legal relationship between her and the child’s father. If the couple is married, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father, and a paternity test is unnecessary. However, if the parents are unmarried and the mother has legal custody of the child, she can refuse a paternity test as the father has no legal rights to the child.
However, if a judge orders a paternity test, the mother is legally obligated to comply. Refusing to comply with a court order can result in the mother being held in contempt of court. It’s important to seek legal counsel to understand your rights and obligations.
Can a man request a Paternity test if the mother doesn’t want it?
The straightforward answer is yes! A man can request a paternity test if the child’s mother doesn’t want to undertake it.
Below are two ways the father can perform a DNA paternity test without the consent of the mother of the child:
1. Take a Paternity DNA Test
One way to determine if you’re biologically related to the child is by taking a legal paternity test. You can establish paternity by using paternity test kit available on the market. However, you need to keep in mind that the results of at-home testing kits cannot be used in court to prove the infidelity of your partner.
Only the test reports of a certified laboratory can establish paternity in a court of law. Therefore, getting tested at a DNA testing clinic will be a wise and sensible move. Hundreds of U.S. residents have found Choice DNA reliable in regard to legal paternity testing because of the quality service and accurate results it offers. Though it isn’t a physical laboratory, it sends testing samples to certified labs to ensure accurate results, like the Laboratory Corporation of America (AABB and SAMHSA Certified). Using 21 genetic markers, it tests the cheek swabs of both the father and the child for complete analysis.
Later, the test results are shared in the form of a written DNA report which can be used in court to establish paternity or for other legal reasons related to paternity.
2. File a Petition with the Court
Legal action should always be the last resort to force your wife or partner to undertake a DNA test, even if you’re convinced you’re not the father. That’s mainly because this would set a negative tone and further strain the relationship between you and your partner. If the mother of the child refuses to determine paternity, you can file a petition with the court. Subsequently, the court order will be sent to the mother, because of which she will have to undertake a paternity test. In case she fails to obey the order, she will be held in civil contempt.
How Much Does a Paternity Test Cost?
A home paternity test kit (for personal knowledge and peace of mind only) costs $130 to $200. A legal DNA paternity test (with court-admissible results) for child support, child visitation, and immigration, typically costs $300 to $500, and includes professional DNA collection. A non-invasive prenatal paternity test (testing before the baby is born) is $1,500 to $2,000.
Don't Ruin Your Relationship By Misunderstanding.
Get Accurate Answers With Our Paternity Test!
Prices can vary, as does the quality of the testing; additional features can be added, such as expedited testing.
What happens if the Paternity Test is Positive?
Verifying paternity provides a father with legal rights and responsibilities regarding his child, which can bring various advantages. These benefits may include:
- Adding your name to your child’s birth certificate
- Enrolling your child in health insurance under your plan
- Designating your child as a beneficiary on financial accounts and allowing them to inherit from you
- Receiving visitation rights and establishing financial support for your child through the court system
- Providing your child with access to your medical history allowing for better-informed medical decisions.
Ways to Get a Court Ordered Paternity Test
A court ordered paternity test can be obtained through two ways – by filing a lawsuit in court or by contacting the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General. In cases where both parents agree to take the paternity test and opt to go through the Attorney General’s Office, they may not have to appear in court.
Regardless of your situation, seeking guidance from a paternity lawyer is highly recommended. An experienced attorney can help establish your parental rights and provide advice on the necessary steps to take.