Advances in technology mean that DNA is increasingly being used in identification. This has various legal implications, particularly in policing, but more importantly with reference to family law, as it concerns issues of paternity and the implications of this such as Custody and/or Child Support Orders. Traditionally, paternity tests may have been viewed negatively; however, as technology has made such a process easier and a more common part of modern life, this has changed attitudes and stigma attached to DNA testing. Paternity tests provide conclusive evidence of parentage and can now be conducted in the privacy of one’s home.
An experienced Family Lawyer could be useful, if you are involved in an issue of parentage and/or DNA testing.
Generally speaking, a paternity test is not mandatory and can only be enforced by the Court. Where the paternity of any person is in issue in any proceedings, the Court may direct any party to the proceedings, or any child or children who is the subject of the proceedings, to submit to a blood test at such time and place, or on such other conditions, the Court may see fit.
In broad terms, there are basically two types of paternity tests available in Australia. Some tests are conducted privately (that is, not through a medical practitioner), often using a paternity kit, such a test is effectively a 'person test' and cannot be used for legal issues; it usually involves taking a mouth swab from each of the father and the child and then having these sent to a laboratory for analysis. Legal tests are required by law to comply with the Australian Family Law Act and in respect of such DNA tests, there are strict conditions concerning sample collection and all samples must be tracked from the collection centre to the testing laboratory to be admissible as evidence in Court. A qualified Family Lawyer may be able to assist you in understanding your rights and obligations in this regard.
The authority of the Court to direct blood tests is a modern area of the law and it may be possible for you to challenge an Order to conduct a DNA test. However, an adverse inference of paternity could be drawn. If a person fails to submit to a test without reasonable excuse, it may be against social policy if a potential father avoids a test, simply to avoid the potential responsibility of financially supporting a biological child. Professional legal advice in this area of law may be necessary to ensure that you thoroughly understand the implications and consequences of a Court sanctioned DNA test.
If you need further legal advice on your DNA testing matter, you may book an appointment to see us in our head office in Sydney CBD by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may wish to see one of our qualified Family Law solicitors at one of our branch offices. For a complete list of our branch offices, please see our "Locations" tab.
This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.
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