They have been poked fun on the Maury Povich Show and on Internet memes. But paternity tests are no laughing matter. There are currently countless children and grown adults throughout Utah who do not know the identity of their fathers. It is one of the most serious and common matters in Salt Lake City family law. The consequences can be emotionally and financially severe for everyone involved. Paternity tests not only determine the identity of the father, but they can also provide insight into family medical history. By correctly identifying the father, mothers can begin the process of receiving child support and other benefits.
During pregnancy, most states require an Acknowledgment of Paternity form to be completed at the hospital. Once the document is signed, the couple has a limited amount of time to complete a DNA paternity test to amend the AOP. If the time has expired and the couple has not completed the test, then the person listed on the AOP is legally responsible for the child. Even if the person listed on the AOP is later tested and not found to be the biological father, they are still legally responsible for the child. Many states require unmarried couples to take paternity tests to list a father’s name on a birth certificate.
There are three different types of paternity tests. Each one is to be performed during pregnancy. Testing can be done as soon as the end of the first trimester. The results are kept confidential. Each test poses no health risks to the mother or the developing baby. Depending on the procedure, prices can range from $400 to $2,000.
If you are a single mother, it is extremely important to identify the father of your baby. To learn more about how test results can be used in court, contact a Salt Lake City family law attorney today.