Parentage has many meanings for many different people. The courts recognize psychological parents (someone who has been raising a child most often with the belief that the child is biologically theirs), adoptive parents, birth parents, unwed parents, wed parents when the biological father is not the husband, etc.

What this article will explore is the legal establishment of parentage vis a vis paternity testing.

Courts can and will order DNA testing to establish paternity for a myriad of different reasons. In unwed couples, there are times the mother may not know the identity of the birth father if she had been sexually active with more than one partner around the time of conception. In these situations, the mother may want to know the identity of her child’s father for purposes of financial support, health background or to involve the father in the raising of the child.

Sometimes a father will know or assume he is the father and the mother may deny it. He may want an active role in the child’s life and/or be willing and able to provide financial support. In these types of cases the Courts will order a DNA test even at the objection of the mother.

One further scenario might be if a mother names a father who truly believes he is not, asking him for financial and/or help in raising the child.

Legal advice under any of these cases is highly recommended. Obviously, there are far reaching consequences for the child and for both parents. DNA testing is simple and non-invasive. The court system takes them very seriously, as should you.

For any of your family law questions or concerns, contact your Chester New Jersey family law firm.