Berman & Asbel, LLP

3 Situations Where You Might Request a Paternity Test

Being a parent is about more than the biological connection you may or may not have with a child. Any adoptive or stepparent can attest to this. However, there are situations in which paternity testing to confirm or challenge a biological relationship between father and child becomes necessary.

Below, we examine three scenarios in which a mother, presumptive father or other party might want to request a paternity test.

If you are not married to the mother

Paternity may be challenged when a child is born out of wedlock or as the result of an affair. However, it is best for the person contesting paternity to request a paternity test sooner, rather than later. Under Pennsylvania paternity laws, the doctrine of paternity by estoppel may hinder a man's ability to contest paternity of a child, as the child grows older and the father-child relationship blossoms. 

If you are married, but doubt the paternity of a child

In most cases, a husband is presumed to be the father of a child. However, if your marriage is not intact or if you (or someone else) can prove it is impossible that you are the father, then the courts may order a paternity test.

If you want to enforce (or challenge) your parenting rights

To request parenting time, or if you are a mother seeking child support, you must confirm paternity. 

Special considerations

Paternity by fraud can also present complications. This occurs when a mother lies to a man about being the father of her child. Once fraud is discovered, it can be very difficult to determine if paternity testing should still be done.

If you have specific questions or concerns about paternity and genetic testing, it can be critical that you consult an attorney before you make any decisions or assumptions. Doing so as soon as doubts arise can be in your best interests and the best interests of the child involved.

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