Unless the court orders a paternity test to be taken, you can refuse to get one. However, establishing paternity has many benefits for both parents who wish to be in their alleged child’s life. Not to mention that refusal of a court-ordered paternity test can result in severe civil penalties.

A compassionate and empathic attorney can aid you when looking to establish paternity. They can provide legal advice on how to proceed with your paternity case and inform you of your paternity rights and options.

Who Can Ask For a Court-Ordered Paternity Test?

Either parent, presumed or alleged, can request a court-ordered paternity test to establish paternity for a minor child. An expecting mother, state social service agency, or a child who has reached the age of majority can also request a court-ordered paternity test.

What Happens if One Parent Does Not Show Up to a Court-Ordered Paternity Testing?

Should either the alleged or presumed father or mother not show up to the paternity test, then the only option is to file a contempt case against them. A court will not allow a parent to ignore court-ordered paternity testing and may fine or sentence the no-show party. That individual will receive a time period before sanctions take effect to get them to comply with the court order.

Are There Other Ways to Establish Paternity?

Texas has three ways to establish paternity. In addition to court-ordered paternity:

  • A legally married couple who claims the husband is the biological father will automatically be presumed to be the legal father
  • Unmarried, agreeable couples can sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) to grant parental rights to the father

How Does a Paternity Test Work?

DNA is taken from the mother, presumed father, and their children by a cheek swab. The test will often occur at the court, a child support office, or a local clinic. DNA tests are 99 percent accurate when determining the biological father.

The test results may take four to six weeks before they return from the lab. Once the lab results are in, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) can finalize the paternity order.

What If the DNA Test Shows I Am the Father?

The judge will likely sign an order of support in the case that you and the mother are not married. Back child support can be added to the order in which you will be responsible for paying. Conservatorship, medical support, and a possession order can now also be established.

Contact a Dallas, TX Paternity Lawyer

A father who wants access to his children should undergo whatever methods are available to him for establishing paternity. Whether court-ordered or agreed upon mutually by both parents, taking a paternity test can decide without a doubt the identity of a child’s father. For help establishing paternity, you should consult a Fort Worth, TX father’s rights attorney. The Clark Law Group will guide you through this journey every step of the way. Contact the office at 469-765-3910 for a private consultation.