Establishing Paternity Through Genetic Testing

A Fairfax, Virginia Family Law Attorney Discusses Proving Paternity Via Genetic Testing

All too often, a single mother is left to raise a child on her own because the father refuses to acknowledge responsibility for the pregnancy. The mother may know with certainty who the child's father is, but without his signing of an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP), she may have to turn to the Fairfax County courts or the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) to compel the father to submit to a genetic test to establish paternity.

Genetic Testing in Virginia

Your attorney may request a genetic test to prove paternity by filing a petition with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. As the mother, you must swear that the child is yours and must list facts that establish the possibility that the man in question is the father. In other words, you must attest that you and the child's alleged father had sexual relations around the time that the child was conceived. The JDR Court will order a genetic test of the father, mother, and the child. If the test result is positive with a probability of 98% or higher, paternity is proven and the father is legally and financially responsible for the child. If the test is positive, but with less than a 98% measure of certainty, another method of testing may be used.

DCSE may also schedule a genetic test for paternity if you have a case with them. If the parties agree to private testing, there are also a number of companies who operate in the Fairfax area. Testing is fast and painless, and the results are available within a few weeks.

What Happens Once Paternity is Established?

The courts will order a new birth certificate for the child with both parents' names listed. The mother or her lawyer can now petition the courts to grant child support. However, the father also acquires rights; he may request visitation or a shared custody arrangement.

If you are a single mother in Fairfax or anywhere else in the Commonwealth of Virginia and you suspect who the father is, you don't have to struggle alone. A professional family law attorney can assist you in proving paternity and collecting the support for your child that he or she deserves. For assistance, contact a Fairfax family law attorney today.

Virginia Divorce and Family Law Attorney Claudia Zucker

Do you need a divorce attorney? Do you have questions about how to establish paternity through DNA testing? We invite you to contact us today at (703) 596-1005. We're always just a phone call away.

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