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Paternity Testing

There are a number of reasons for a person to request a paternity test. Some men may request it to be certain whether they are or are not a father, and some women may request it prove who the father of a child is if the child’s father has not been listed on the birth certificate particularly for Child Support purposes.

When parties agree

If both parties are agreeable to the paternity test, they can privately arrange for DNA testing to be carried out without the need for a court order. To ensure that results of a private paternity test are acceptable to a court should it need to be considered, it is vital to have the test conducted by an accredited laboratory and that the testing complies with the Family Law Regulations 1984. If you are in this situation, we can facilitate this process and ensure the processes are compliant.

When parties do not agree

If a person has requested a paternity test and the other person does not agree to it, an application must be made to the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court for an order for parenting testing.

For this application to be made, evidence must be put forward to the court as to why he is or is not ‘presumed’ to be the father.

A man is presumed to be a father if:

  • He was married to the child’s mother;
  • He cohabitated with the child’s mother at any time during the period of 44 weeks to 20 weeks before the child’s birth;
  • His name appears on the birth certificate;
  • A court has made a parentage finding;

If a man is presumed to be the father under the Family Law Act presumptions listed above, he would need to provide evidence to the court to demonstrate why he had an honest and reasonable belief as to why he was not.

If a man is not presumed to be the father under the same presumptions, it would be necessary to provide evidence to the court to demonstrate why there is a reasonable belief he is the father.

This is a very complex area of law, and it is not merely the case of requesting a paternity test to reveal the truth. The presumptions above exist to ensure that parentage is more than just DNA testing, and that individual circumstances are considered and regarded.

If this situation applies to you, and you wish to either prove or disprove parentage, we can provide advice and assistance to you.