Understanding the Law

All You Need to Know About Paternity Tests

Do you doubt the paternity of your child? Under the Australian Family Law, parents that question their child's parentage have a right to conduct a voluntary or court-ordered DNA test to determine the child's father. In the extract below, you will learn the various considerations to make when seeking a paternity test. 

Why Do You Need a Paternity Test? 

There are various reasons why people ask for paternity tests. For instance: 

DNA Testing

One of the easiest ways to establish the father to your child is through voluntary DNA testing. Many clinics in Australia conduct DNA tests. The alleged father to the child will be required to provide a DNA sample that will be compared against that of the child.

Court Ordered Paternity Test

Your first step when seeking a court-ordered paternity test is to seek the advice of a family lawyer. Your lawyer will evaluate your situation and determine if the court will grant you the right to conduct a paternity test. Typically, you will need to prove that you were in a sexual relationship with the other party at the time the baby was conceived. If you doubt that you are the father, you may argue out that your spouse had an extramarital affair.

Under the Australian law, you are considered the child's biological father if you are named as the father on the birth certificate, if the child was born when you were married to the mother or if you signed a legal document acknowledging you are the child's father.  

What Happens After the Test? 

The court-ordered paternity test is more vigorous than a voluntary paternity test. For instance, you may need to provide multiple samples. Once results are out, a man will need a court declaration confirming or annulling parentage. The document can be used in child custody and child support proceedings. 

Can a Man Refuse to Take a Paternity Test? 

The court will not force you to take a DNA test. However, if you opt not to take the test, the court may declare you as the child's father. It would, therefore, be in your best interests to take the test. 

Seeking a paternity test is easy with the above tips. An experienced and qualified family lawyer will guide you through the process.