The popularity and increased accessibility of DNA testing has changed many family relationships in Pennsylvania. While decades ago, the science was poorly understood, DNA tests are now available to people simply seeking to learn more about their ancestry. Of course, DNA is also of critical importance in the courtroom. DNA paternity tests can be essential to child support and custody cases, especially for unmarried parents.
DNA testing can be used to show that an alleged father is not the parent of the child and thus not responsible for child support obligations. On the other hand, paternity tests can also identify the father correctly. For a father who has been out of his child's life for some time, these kinds of tests can be critical to establishing not only child support but also a path to child custody and visitation. Because DNA offers a 99.99 percent level of accuracy, people can be certain that questions of paternity are decisively resolved.
In many cases, a married man is presumed to be the dad of his wife's child. It may be possible to rebut this presumption in case of a divorce over infidelity through the use of a DNA paternity test. Alternately, an unmarried father who wants to be involved in his child's life might seek out a paternity test in order to be formally recognized as a parent.
Family law issues can be deeply emotional and address issues that hold deep personal meaning. At the same time, DNA testing offers a scientific answer to key questions about parentage. A family law attorney can advise parents or potential parents about their rights and obligations and how DNA testing could be of use.