The facts of custody battles vary depending on the circumstances; some are more complicated than others. While it might be obvious who the biological mother is, a test is sometimes required to prove who the biological father is. This allows child support and custody proceedings to unfold with fewer hitches.
Fathers can enjoy custody and visitation and take up the responsibilities of bringing up a child if they are biological parents of a minor. However, the court doesn’t always take the financial burden of determining the biological parents. Dedicated Orange County family law attorneys can help you understand how court costs work.
Can Third Parties Be Involved in Paternity Tests?
A request for a paternity test is not limited to the mother and father of the child. Various people can petition the court to order the tests, including:
- Prosecutors office if the child was neglected
- Social service agency if the child was neglected
- The mother and father of an unborn child
- The father and mother of a child
- A child’s personal representative
- The child
- A man alleging to be an unborn child’s biological father
- A man alleging to be a child’s biological father
- The mother of an unborn child
- The mother of a child
However, the court doesn’t automatically order the tests to be conducted. A review of the petition will inform the decision. The test will only be conducted if the judge finds sufficient grounds to justify or warrant the test. Experienced New Port Beach child custody attorneys can help you prepare a convincing petition.
Do Fathers Automatically Pay for Paternity Tests?
The court has the mandate to decide on the person that pays for the paternity test. However, the decision is usually made after the results of the paternity are provided by the designated test facility. If the father requested the paternity test to establish whether he is the father of a child or an expected child, the court might order them to pay the costs.
If the mother or other third parties requested the tests, the alleged father might or might not pay for the procedure. For example, if the man is found not to be the biological father, the court might order the requesting party to pay the costs. If they are the biological father of the minor, they could be asked to cater for the DNA tests.
Does the Alleged Father Pay Child Support Before Paternity is Determined?
A presumed father might be asked to provide for part of the child’s needs until parentage is determined. The man married to a mother at the time of a child’s conception could be regarded as the child’s father until it is proven otherwise. Sterility, impotence, or negative tests might scrap the presumption and relieve the alleged father of parental duties.
And if it is found that the alleged father biologically sired the child, he might be asked to continue supporting the minor. Another birth certificate could be issued if the initial one does not reflect the established paternity. Proceedings on child custody can continue once the paternity question is answered, and skilled New Port Beach child custody attorneys can represent you at every step.
How Much Does a Paternity Cost in California?
The cost of paternity tests varies widely. Prenatal DNA testing can cost between $1,500 and $2000. The usual test to find out a child’s father might cost $300 to $500. Home paternal tests might cost $130 to $200, but the results might not be admissible in court. Due to the elevated costs associated with these tests, fathers should only request paternity tests if they are certain that they can afford to pay the costs if the court concludes that it is their responsibility.
Failure to pay can bring a lien against your property, or the amount might be garnished from your earnings. Ensure that you consult with seasoned New Port Beach child custody attorneys to find out all other financial implications of paternity tests. You can thereafter pursue this alternative if it doesn’t flex your financial muscle too wide.
Are Paternity Test Costs Worth it?
Paternity costs are relatively expensive in California, and many parents and other interested parties sometimes wonder whether it is worth the cost. But understanding the benefits and disadvantages can help you make the right legal decisions. Apart from the current custody battle, these tests can be beneficial to the children both in the long term and in the short term.
Biological children can claim their father’s veterans, disability, and social security benefits if they die or suffer a disability. The children will also have a right to claim the father’s inheritance someday. They might also get to know the medical histories on both sides of their families and make informed decisions in that regard.
How Accurate are Paternity Test Results?
Court-ordered paternity tests are conducted at specific designated DNA testing centers in California. These centers have qualified analysts that test the results more than once. A trained scientist might also be present to verify the results and make sure that it is accurate.
Paternity results might be ready in a few days. Non-invasive prenatal paternal test results could be submitted back to the court approximately three (3) days after the mother and the alleged father submit the samples. The legal paternity test for existing children can take 1-2 business days or might even be ready the same day.
Attorneys Offering the Best Legal Representation for Families
The judge often decides who pays for a paternity test in California. An experienced lawyer can evaluate a situation and tell who is likely to bear the financial burden of the tests. It might be easier for a party to prepare if they are conversant with the possibilities.
Our lawyers have been handling child custody matters for a while. Their legal advice, guidance, and representation can give you the peace of mind you desire. Kindly reach out to us today, and we will prepare you mentally for what is to come.