For people in Connecticut dealing with family court issues, DNA paternity testing is an increasingly important part of the courtroom landscape. DNA testing is becoming widely popular and accessible in a range of contexts: criminal cases can hinge on DNA evidence, and many people are opting for private DNA tests to learn more about their families and ancestry. Because DNA tests are over 99.99 percent accurate, they can play a critical role in firmly and legally establishing a child’s parentage, especially when the mother and the father are unmarried.
While a married man may be presumed to be the father of his wife’s child, the same is not true for an unmarried father. He may not be named on the birth certificate, and in some cases, the father may not even know that he has a child. DNA paternity testing can arise in several different circumstances. The mother of the child may seek child support and an order for a DNA test to establish paternity. Once paternity is clear, a child support obligation can be established, and the father would also likely have a right to visitation time and custody of his child. In other cases, the state may initiate the motion for a paternity test after the mother seeks public benefits.
Other fathers may pursue a paternity test on their own if they want to go to court to seek custody or visitation of the child. A DNA test is strong evidence backing up a father’s claim to be recognized as a legal parent.
DNA paternity testing can be a critical part of a child custody or child support case. Mothers who are looking to obtain support from an absent father may consult with a family law attorney about the steps needed to obtain a paternity test and a support order.