Paternity testing is necessary in many types of family law cases, including child custody, visitation, and child support cases when the parties are not married. It is important to understand the different types of paternity tests available, what can and can’t be admitted into a Florida family court, and how to get legal help when you need it. However, paternity tests are not necessary if paternity is admitted in court documents by both the involved parties.
Different Types of Paternity Tests
There are several different types of paternity tests available:
Amniocentesis testing takes a small sample of the baby’s blood in utero by passing a thin needle via guided ultrasound through the mother’s abdomen and uterus. This is done in a hospital and is the only way to test for paternity before the baby is born.
Cheek Swab Testing in a Lab Setting
Although blood testing can be used to determine paternity, it can also be done via a cheek swab, which is much less invasive and uncomfortable for a child. At the hospital or in a lab setting, a nurse or other medical professional will obtain a cheek swab of both the child and the potential father and transport them to a lab using a proper chain of custody procedures.
Cheek Swab Testing at Home
Cheek swab tests can be purchased at your local pharmacy or supermarket and used to test paternity at home. You’ll swab the child’s cheek and the cheek of the potential father and follow the kit’s instructions to seal and send the samples to a professional lab. The results will be mailed back to you, usually a few days to a week later.
Why Home Paternity Tests Aren’t Admissible in Florida Courts
Although home paternity tests can be extremely convenient, they’re not admissible in family courts in Florida. This is because it’s easy for the test to be tampered with and there’s no way to confirm that it wasn’t. For a paternity test to be admissible in Florida, it must be performed by a medical professional and the results handled according to proper procedure. The chain of custody cannot be broken.
When to Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you’re involved in a family legal situation that requires a paternity test, make sure it’s admissible in court. Kevyn Noonan Hayes, is an experienced divorce and child custody lawyer and can help guide you through the process of getting the appropriate testing and bringing it forward in court. Call now for a consultation to learn more about your legal options at 239-591-6248.