Everything You Need to Know About Paternity Testing

In News by YKF Law

There’s no other love that’s as pure and unconditional as the love a parent has for their child. We would do anything in our power to keep them safe, make sure they have everything they need, and keep them happy. They’re our reason for everything and we only want the best for them.

Sometimes, however, parents are faced with the difficult decision to undergo paternity testing to find out if a man is the biological father of a child. Whether you’re the father in question, are trying to establish paternity to have more legal rights, or are the other party seeking a DNA test to prove or disprove that someone is or isn’t the father, paternity testing is a great resource to prove paternity and resolve paternity actions. 

If you’re involved in a paternity action, you may have some questions about paternity testing:  how accurate is it, what rights are you entitled to, and so on. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about paternity testing so can you can be better informed.

What is a Paternity Test?

A DNA paternity test is used to determine whether or not a man is the biological father of a child. Paternity is determined by taking a DNA sample (most often a cheek swab or blood test) from both the father in question and the child and comparing the two samples. A geneticist takes both samples and extracts and compares the DNA samples to determine whether or not they’re a match.

DNA paternity tests are over 99.9% accurate which is why the Court relies so heavily on paternity testing to establish the paternity of a child. There is always room for some error, however, a paternity test is rarely inaccurate.

Paternity tests are not always necessary; there are certain circumstances which make an individual the presumed or putative father. You will want to discuss if a paternity test is necessary with your attorney.

When is Paternity Testing Used?

Paternity testing is used anytime there is a question of paternity for a child. Individual circumstances vary, however, most of the time paternity testing is used to determine paternity and establish child support, to gain legal rights as the father of a child, custody arrangements, inheritance, and benefits such as social security and health insurance.

Depending on the legal matter, the father can use the results of a paternity test to request custody of his child. In return, the mother of the child can use the results of the paternity test to request child support from the father.

The Paternity Test Came Back as a Match – What are The Father’s Rights?

Wondering what rights you’re entitled to as the child’s father? If the mother of your child has denied custody or hasn’t allowed you to have any legal rights as a father then you can use that positive paternity test in court to prove that you’re the father and request custody. 

You can seek legal custody and or physical custody of the child. If granted legal custody, then you’ll be able to be involved in decision-making for your child. Physical custody essentially is the parenting time you will spend with the child. Missouri and Kansas both have “joint legal custody” and “sole legal custody” arrangements. Contrary to popular belief, the Court does not award custody based on gender, so you do have rights as a father.

If you’re the mother of the child, you may be wondering what rights the father has once paternity is established. If he doesn’t have sole or joint custody then he’ll most likely be ordered to pay child support. He’s also allowed to seek custody as the father of the child. Individual circumstances vary, however, he is legally allowed to request more rights as a father. The Court will determine the best interest of the child and will grant custody and child support based on just that.

How Can I Establish Paternity and Get a Paternity Case Started?

Dealing with a difficult former partner can be challenging, especially if they’re keeping the child from you or not allowing you to spend nearly enough time with them. You have a right to meet with a paternity lawyer and get the legal process started at any point. Once you file the paperwork then your paternity case will begin and paternity can be established. 

Likewise, if you know who the father of your child is and they’re not helping support the child and aren’t involved in their life then you can request to establish paternity and request child support. Again, meeting with the right paternity lawyer in Kansas City will get your legal matter started.

If you’re currently seeking legal representation by a paternity lawyer in Lee’s Summit, the family law attorneys at The Law Office of Young, Kuhl & Frick, LLC can help resolve any paternity actions that arise. We’re dedicated to the practice of family law and can help guide you through any family law matter keeping your best interests in mind. With over fifty-four years of combined legal experience, our family law firm is comprised of a team that’s skilled in both negotiation and litigation, handling family law matters from the most complex to the most straightforward.
We have offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Leawood, Kansas (consultations by appointment only). In addition to our two physical locations, our firm’s family and divorce attorneys have practiced in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Lafayette, and Platte County, Missouri as well as Johnson County, Kansas. Contact our family law firm today to schedule a consultation – we’re able to meet in person or face-to-face via Zoom.