For the majority of mankind’s history, proving paternity has been a challenging thing to do. This changed in the latter part of the 20th century as mankind developed a better understanding of DNA. Now, paternity tests provide an accurate and irrefutable way to determine who the father of any child is.
Not surprisingly, paternity testing has created some moral and ethical questions, which the law has struggled to resolve. For example, could a mother have a paternity test done without the father’s direct involvement?
Must a Mother Inform a Father of a Paternity Test?
The answer to this question depends on what the mother intends to do with the information she receives. A mother could have a paternity test done using something that has the father’s DNA on it, be it a strand of hair, a piece of chewing gum, or a mouth swab. She could even go as far as having the DNA of a first-degree relative of the father tested. This information may resolve questions that the mother has about the paternity of her child. However, any DNA information obtained without the father’s consent would not be admissible in court.
There is a Chain of Custody form that must be processed in order to present DNA evidence in court. This Chain of Custody form describes where the DNA evidence was obtained and who was in control of the DNA evidence before, during, and after the testing procedure. In order for it to be valid, the father would need to sign this form.
Any paternity tests that are done without the father’s consent are referred to as “non-legal” paternity tests. These tests are not valid in civil or criminal litigation.
What If a Father Refuses a Court Ordered Paternity Test?
Fathers have the option of refusing a paternity test. However, in most cases, this will result in criminal charges if the paternity test was ordered by the court. Legal consequences for refusing a court ordered paternity test may include fines and criminal charges.
DNA tests are powerful tools in civil litigation. They are an accurate way of determining who the father of a child is, and they are beneficial for both child custody and child support cases. DNA tests have a 99.9999 percent accuracy rating.
To speak with a Tempe paternity lawyer about your case, contact us online or by calling 480-345-2652 today.