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What You Should Know About Court-Ordered Paternity Tests

Reasons to Get a Court-Ordered Paternity Test

Advocates agree that when there’s a court-ordered paternity test, it’s a good thing because it provides emotional, social, and economic ties between a father and their child. It’s also a good way to put nagging suspicions to rest. Regardless of why you’re considering such a test, there are a few things that you need to know.

Reasons to Get a Court-Ordered Paternity Test

When the court orders you to undergo this test, it’s part of a civil lawsuit. Denying the test isn’t a good thing to do. It could result in criminal charges or an automatic (a.k.a., default) judgment against you. If you’re ordered to undergo this test, there may be a few different reasons for it.

Child Support and Custody
When a married couple conceives a child, the man is presumed to be the father. Even if the couple gets divorced in the future the father is still considered financially and legally responsible for the child. This is true even if a court-ordered paternity test determines they aren’t related. However, an unmarried couple that conceives a child must determine a legal relationship between the father and the child before the court approves a child-support order or custody arrangement.

Inheritance Rights
An example of this is what happened to the late singer Prince. When he died, inheritance rights were disputed. When this happens the alleged heir may be a minor or an adult, known or unknown, and the rights may or may not be disputed. Regardless, a court-ordered paternity test will quickly and efficiently put any doubts to rest, ensuring that the correct people receive what’s rightfully theirs and that everyone who’s involved is treated fairly.

Parental Benefits
Inheritance rights are only one type of benefit that heirs may be entitled to when their biological parent dies. A few of the other rights include Social Security and life insurance benefits. Typically, proof of paternity is required on behalf of the beneficiary because it’s much more difficult to research, locate, and produce other documents as proof of paternity.

Proof of Relationship for Immigration
Government entities also use DNA to help prove that there’s a close family relationship between two parties when other documentation (e.g., birth certificates) aren’t available. An immigration paternity test is usually ordered so that either paternity or maternity can be proven. However, there are also times when it’s used to prove that someone is a sibling or a grandparent.

Seemingly everyone has an extremely strong desire to know their biological roots. Therefore, many adults who were raised by adoptive parents or who have been conceived through donors will set off in search of their biological mother or father. Ancestry testing has proven the best way to do this. However, paternity or maternity tests can also provide peace of mind. However, if the child needs information about the relationship for any other reason (e.g., immigration, social security, inheritance), then it’s necessary to conduct a court-ordered paternity test.

The Bottom Line

Before you take a court-ordered paternity test, take a few minutes to consider what the results might mean to you. If you’ve been ordered to undergo this test, we want you to know that we’re here at Piece of Mind in Clearwater, FL, to fulfill your needs. We maintain the highest standards when obtaining and testing DNA for our clients. Regardless of why you’ve been court-ordered to undergo a paternity test, we want you to know that you can trust us. So, when you’re ready, take a moment to reach out to us, and we’ll help get you started with the DNA process.

Picture Credit: Crello