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Paternity Testing and Divorce

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In divorce cases, the court generally presumes a man to be the father of a child if he was married to the wife when the child was conceived or born or agreed to have his name on the birth certificate or he held the child out as his own. But in some states, that can be challenged in court by presenting a paternity test to prove that the man is not the biological father of the child.

Types of Paternity Testing

There are two types of paternity testing—HLA testing and DNA testing. HLA testing is rarely used, as it is not as accurate as DNA testing. DNA testing prices have come down quite a bit, and it is now more affordable to have this type of paternity testing done. DNA testing is also 99 percent accurate.

Reasons for Paternity Testing

When going through a divorce, if the husband has any reason to believe that the child is not his biological child, he should request paternity testing via a motion through the court. If the test comes back showing that he is not the biological father, he may not have to pay child support. There are times when the court will still order the husband to pay child support for the child, even though it is not his biological child. If a husband ever has any question regarding paternity, he should contact a family law attorney to help him through this process.

Sometimes, the husband requests paternity testing because the wife refuses to let the husband have visitation with the child, stating that the child is not his. This usually comes up in custody battles, when both parents are vying for custody of the minor child. If, during a divorce and custody battle, the husband is being denied visitation or primary custody because the child is allegedly not his, the husband should request paternity testing and further motion the court for primary custody or secondary custody with reasonable visitation.

Paternity testing and paternity cases within divorce cases are common. If a husband has a question regarding the paternity of a child, paternity testing should be done as early as possible in the divorce process. This allows the husband and/or his attorney more time to prepare the appropriate court documents requesting relief from child support or requesting custody or visitation.

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