In order to determine a child support obligation, sometimes it is necessary to conduct paternity testing. Upon the request of either party in a Pennsylvania child support case, the court shall require the child and the parties to submit to genetic testing. The question then becomes-how can the results of these paternity tests be challenged, if at all?
How can you challenge a paternity test in Pennsylvania?
Tainted/Flawed/Fraudulent Lab Results: As most lab results cannot claim a perfect 100% accuracy of test results, sometimes test results, and even paternity test results, can be flawed. This could happen in many situations – including an administrative error by the lab, or proof of substandard work conducted by the particular lab in the past. A fraud situation can exist if someone else took the paternity test instead of the alleged father, in which case the results can be challenged on fraud grounds. Often times the lab itself should have particular safety and identification mechanisms in place such as fingerprinting to ensure that the test is being taken by the correct person.
Proof of Infertility or Sterility: Proof of a man’s sterility is obviously clear proof to challenge paternity. The best way to challenge a paternity test on the grounds of sterility is to see a doctor and get the doctor’s opinion/results in writing. This then can serve as proof that the man cannot possibly be the father of the child.
Infidelity of Mom: Pennsylvania law carries the presumption that a child born to a married woman is considered a child of the marriage and thus the child of the Wife’s husband. This presumption can be overcome by clear and convincing evidence of non-access, impotency, or sterility. Non-access means that the Husband did not have access to the Wife during the time of conception. This could be because of Wife’s/Mom’s infidelity, or simply from lack of marital relations.
Pennsylvania Courts will look into the surrounding facts and circumstances in a given case in order to determine the validity of paternity test results. If you have questions about paternity and would like to speak to an attorney experienced in this area, contact us at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates today!