DNA Testing for Paternity can Provide Vital Information

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Paternity on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

Disputes involving modern Florida families can be complex. In some of these situations, DNA testing for paternity can provide the clarity necessary to sort through and resolve issues.

Recently, a writer shared her story of calling the man who had raised her, who lived in Boca Raton, to ask him if he was indeed her father. Sharing some suspicion over the validity of his paternity, the two immediately agreed to conduct a paternity test. The test results showed that the man was not her biological father. This is a situation many Florida parents work through when their children are young, and the consequences may be significant.

Many individuals may identify with the columnist's situation and subsequent relief when she finally received some clarity on her paternity questions. While her situation did not have particular legal ramifications, others may want answers regarding paternity to help resolve complex family law questions. In particular, a positive paternity test may require a person's biological father to provide child support payments.

Along those lines, DNA-based paternity tests are about 99.9 percent accurate in determining paternity of when the DNA profile of the child, father and mother match. A man who is not the biological father can also be excluded based on blood tests. In the case of a minor child, each party in a case where paternity is being contested may be required to submit to a paternity test at the request of the other party.

Children born into a marriage are considered legally legitimate. The simple presence of a party on a birth certificate, on the other hand, is not considered conclusive evidence of paternity.

Paternity has several different types of legal significance. It can be used in a paternity action to require support from a biological father that denies paternity or it can be used for a biological father wishing to establish parental rights. It can also be important to the determination of custody and visitation. Finally, it can be important financially and emotionally to a child and their parents.

In situations that present paternity questions and corresponding legal implications, DNA testing may be an option that families and individuals wish to consider to help answer some of the more complicated questions in today's complex families.

Source: Huffington Post, "A Secret Love Child," E. O'Neill, Oct. 6, 2012

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