Legal Issues in Paternity Testing and Paternity Fraud

Paternity fraud happens when a mother identifies a man as the biological father of her child when she knows or suspects that he is not. When paternity is in dispute, the family court can order the putative father in a paternity action to submit to a DNA test.

If he fails to submit to DNA testing following a court order, the judge can issue a default order declaring him to be the legal father of the child at issue. 

By the same token, a man who believes he is the father of a child has the right to seek a court order directing the mother and child submit to DNA testing.

DNA test results are admissible in court as evidence of paternity. DNA tests can completely rule out an individual as a parent. Testing can demonstrate an individual is a parent with 99.9 percent probability.

A strict chain of custody must be maintained in DNA testing; in other words, specimens must be tracked and properly identified through the entire testing process.

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