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On what grounds can you contest a paternity test result?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2016 | Paternity

The short answer is yes; there are many grounds to invalidate a paternity finding or order a new test. DNA has greatly improved the accuracy of assigning proper paternity, but it isn’t perfect. The tests are administered by humans, and there are many ways that they could go wrong. This post will go over some of those ways and how they could serve as grounds to invalidate a paternity action.

First, children born to married parents are presumed to be the children of the husband. There is nothing that you need to do to establish paternity; it is automatic.

But what happens if you know that the child isn’t yours? You need to produce evidence that the mother cheated on you during the marriage. This can serve as grounds to invalidate the initial presumption of paternity. As such, a DNA test may be ordered, and if the test demonstrates infidelity on the mother’s behalf, you might not be held accountable for caring for the child.

But what if the test yields a result you believe is inaccurate? Well, you can challenge the viability of the laboratory itself. If you furnish evidence that the laboratory often performs substandard or unreliable work, you could invalidate any of their findings. A common method is producing evidence of prior lab result errors. You would need more than the occasional error; it must be consistently erroneous work.

Moreover, you can contest the validity of the results. If you can produce evidence that shows the test results or samples were tampered with, the court may order a re-test or invalidate the results. These tests are very sensitive. Therefore, laboratories must follow strict handling procedures that ensure a clear chain of custody from when they receive the sample to when they test and produce the results. Any missing hours or breaks in the chain undermines the results.

Paternity actions bind you to a child forever. You will owe that child support and care until they turn 18 or even through college. You could even owe the child support for the rest of his or her life if they are disabled. In short, paternity actions are no joke. If you are engaged in a paternity dispute, then you should probably call a family law attorney. These are specialized actions that require the assistance of an attorney to ensure that your rights are robustly represented.


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