How a paternity test can sometimes complicate a custody case

Paternity test in family courtThe reality is that the paternity of a child can be a real issue in some child custody or support cases between unmarried parents.  These cases are commonly referred to as paternity cases.

Truth be told, there are certainly some cases where the person who is thought to be the father may not be the father.  There are also cases out there where a man has raised a child to be his own later to find out that the child is not his biological child.

Situations like this can cause some fathers to seek a paternity test in court just to be sure they are the father.  Realistically, they believe they are the father.  The birth of the child generally adds up to a time-period where sexual relations were taking place.  But just to ease any concerns or doubts, no matter small they are, they seek to request a formal paternity case in court.

Obviously, if paternity is legitimately in doubt, a paternity is something many men should seek.  This may be particularly true where a child was just born and the date of the birth does not seem to add up as it relates to the time when sexual relations took place.  This might also be the case the relationship was not monogamous or there is a realistic basis to think cheating might have taken place.

But putting situations like this aside, if a man formally requests a paternity test in court in a situation where they realistically believe they are the father, and the paternity test simply confirms what they already knew, some practical problems can come into play in some cases.

For example, the mother in many of these situations can become deeply offended that a paternity test was even requested.  After all, if they were faithful and in a monogamous relationship, they might not like the insinuation that they were sleeping around or cheating.  This can cause hard feelings that oftentimes make a child custody case more litigious, more expensive and less likely to settle amicably.

There is also a risk that the family court might conclude that the father is hoping he is not the father of the child so as to avoid having to father or support the child.  While that may or may not be fair, and may not always be the case, one cannot ignore the possibility that a family court could look at it this way.  There is some risk then that this could paint a father in a bad light that ultimately has a bearing on a child custody or child support award.

While there are now companies touting home paternity tests, if you want one that is admissible in court, you generally need to file a motion in court to have one done through a company that is reputable in your jurisdiction and would have the ability to testify in court if need be.  Otherwise, the results may not be admissible.

In the end, if there is a legitimate basis to believe that one is not a father, a paternity test might be well-advised through a formal motion in court.  But if the father realistically believes he is the father, caution may be in order in requesting a formal paternity test in court if there really was not a realistic basis to doubt it in the first place.

If you are an unmarried father who is concerned about paternity of a child, Stange Law Firm, PC has attorneys who can help.  You can call 1-855-805-0595.

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