Over the recent weeks, we have discussed the concept of paternity in Pennsylvania courts. However, we have yet to answer the question. How does one obtain a court ordered paternity test in as Western Pennsylvania court? As you may be aware, there are over the counter drug store paternity tests that can prove with reasonable certainty whether someone is or is not the father of a child. However, these paternity tests much like other out of court resources do not usually stand up in court. Often the court will discredit these tests as hearsay or question their validity as a result of problems with the chain of custody. Sometimes parties will agree to obtain a paternity test through a respected lab and stipulate that the results are correct.
But what happens if the mother of the child does not agree to allow you to obtain a paternity test? What recourse does a Pennsylvania putative father have? When a man disputes paternity in Pennsylvania, he must first jump the hurdles discussed in previous blog posts such as the presumption of paternity and paternity by estoppel and prove that there is enough doubt that he is entitled to a court administered test. This is usually done in Allegheny County and the surrounding area through presenting a motion to the court requesting a court ordered test. It is then in the judge’s discretion to decide whether the person is entitled to such a test. If the court decides not to give the father a test then they are presumed to be the father of the child and can still be held liable for support and have standing to seek custody.
If you would like to learn more about seeking a court ordered paternity test in Pennsylvania, contact our Pittsburgh office today!