A DNA paternity test is the most reliable method for determining whether or not a man is the biological father of a child, and this type of testing is trusted by courts all across the UK and around the world. But what happens if a mother or a possible father refuses to do a paternity test? Is this happening to you? Here are some possible solutions.
First Step: Talk it Through Without Involving Solicitors
If at all possible, try to resolve the issue without involving a solicitor. Lawyers are usually costly, and hard feelings are more likely to develop when you air out your differences in court where both parties may feel the need to prove—in public—why they are “correct.”
Start the conversation: Oftentimes, a couple who are no longer together have a hard time just holding a civilised conversation, but—since there is a child involved—it is essential to talk honestly about a paternity test. If the other party has not done so already, be the one to start the conversation.
Try to see their point of view: Even if you disagree with why they do not want a paternity test, it is nonetheless essential to have them clarify their stand, both for their benefit and yours. That way, there are no misunderstandings or confusion. It also helps because you can tailor your own argument so that it addresses their concerns. They might be concerned about having to pay child support (or losing child support).
State your own case clearly: If you are a mother who suspects your child may have a different father, explain that your child has a right to know their genetic history, both for heritage and medical reasons. If you believe you are the biological father, lay out your reasons why you would be an asset in the child’s life, financially and emotionally.
Know the law and use it to your advantage: Can someone refuse a paternity test? In the UK an action for determining paternity is considered to be a civil lawsuit, and refusing a paternity test ordered by the court is definitely not a good decision. In some cases, the refuser may face fines or even criminal charges. In other cases, a judge may enter a default (automatic) judgment against the person refusing the test. When you understand what can happen if the matter goes to court, you can use that knowledge to strengthen your argument for settling paternity out of court.
Discuss getting a legal paternity test: A legal paternity test can be ordered directly through a DNA laboratory without having to go through court, yet—unlike a home paternity test—the results are court-admissible. If the other party doesn’t want to go to court, when this option for testing is used, they may not have to.
Keep the conversation civilised: Do your best to stay calm and composed, even if the other person is not able to do the same. Shouting matches never accomplish anything positive for either party, and losing your temper can actually invalidate your argument in the other person’s eyes. For the sake of your child, keep your composure.
You May Need to Seek a Court-Ordered Paternity Test
You tried your best, but were not able to convince the other person to do the paternity test. What comes next? Unfortunately, it is most likely time to bring in CMS or a family-law attorney who can help you bring a suit to court. If the court determines you have a legitimate case, they will order the test.
Wrapping It Up
Being denied a paternity test is a bump in the road, but it is by no means the end of the highway. Of course, it is always best if you can resolve the issue between you without having to go to court, but you do have legal options if your best efforts to convince the other party are not successful. If you need a legal paternity test, contact the professionals at DDC; we are ready to assist you.