The parties are given an appointment for DNA tests at a laboratory. The petitioner or respondent will have to pay for the testing unless the court finds that the party cannot afford it. If so, DSS will pay for the test. The laboratory will send the results directly to the court.
When the parties return to court, the court will explain the test results. DNA test results are expressed in percentages. For example, the DNA test might show that the man is 98% likely to be the biological father. If the parties agree on paternity after learning about the DNA results, the court may enter an order of filiation. If the parties still do not agree on paternity, the matter is adjourned for a hearing. At the hearing, both parties may testify and present witnesses, and the blood or DNA test results may be offered in evidence. The petitioner usually has the burden of proving paternity by clear and convincing evidence. If the DNA test results are 95% likelihood of paternity or higher, the burden shifts to the respondent to prove he is not the child’s father. If the petitioner presents sufficient proof, the court will enter an order of filiation. If not, the petition will be dismissed.
After paternity has been decided, the support magistrate will conduct a support hearing if the custodial parent seeks an order of child support or is receiving public assistance for the child.
For information on serving paternity papers, contact a Paternity process service call (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST. If you found this article helpful, please consider donating. Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us! We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.