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Is a Paternity Test Right for You?

Is a Paternity Test Right for You?

If there is any reason to doubt that you are the father of a child, it may be in your best interest to submit to a paternity test. A paternity test analyzes your DNA to determine how well it matches the DNA of the child in question. Let's take a look at the process of seeking a paternity test, how such a test is conducted and what could happen after the results are revealed.

A Judge Could Order You to Take Such a Test

In many cases, a family court judge will order you to take a DNA test if there is reason to believe that you may be a child's father. In the event that you don't comply with the order, you may be named that minor's biological parent by default. The same may be true if the minor's mother fails to comply with a court order asking her to submit a genetic sample for testing.

How Is a Paternity Test Conducted?

A paternity test usually involves a lab technician collecting strands of your hair, cells from inside of your mouth or a small blood sample. In most cases, the results of the test should be available within a couple of days. Historically, DNA tests have been 99.9% accurate in determining if a father and child are a genetic match. Therefore, a court will generally accept the results of such a test and make a final custody ruling almost immediately upon receiving them.

What Happens If You're the Father?

If you are named the father of a child, you will generally be granted the right to have a relationship with your son or daughter. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you might be given custody of that young person. Furthermore, your child will be allowed to inherit your property, have access to your medical history and will likely be eligible for government benefits if you're unable to work.

If there is reason to believe that you may have fathered a child, it may be in your best interest to contact the legal professionals at Lokken Putnam. Doing so may make it easier to protect your rights before, during and after a paternity hearing.
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