In last week’s blog- Establishment of Paternity- I discussed scenarios in which DNA testing might be needed in order to dispute or confirm someone’s assertion of paternity. But you might be wondering how to go about having DNA testing done.
A quick search of the internet will show you many at-home kits you can order. While this may be a good way to discreetly check into paternity on your own if you have suspicions, it is unlikely a Court would accept these results. Instead, the Court would enter an order for the alleged Father and the child to go to a local facility the Court is familiar with, where the process and results can be trusted. They do not have to go at the same time- the Mother can bring the child in separately.
Testing is typically done with a quick cheek swab and results are typically received within a week or so. The Court will stay the other proceedings while this process is going on- basically, it hits the pause button. If the results come back positive, the Court process will then pick up where it left off. If negative, the Petitioner can either file a motion to withdraw the petition, or the Respondent can file a motion to dismiss based on the negative results.
**Side note- many male clients I talk to feel guilty about the idea of asking for a DNA test. They feel as though it implies they do not want the child to be theirs. The decision to ask or not is a personal one, and the age of the child and the bond already formed is always a factor. My advice is to think about what a negative result would mean to you- would it change anything?
If you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at (480) 994-8824 to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.