In the state of Florida, all parents have a legal obligation to support their children. For non-custodial parents, this often means paying child support, which helps to offset the custodial parent’s expenses for providing shelter, food, and clothing for their children. Florida child support payments continue until a child turns 18.
Paternity plays a key role in establishing child support payments. It is not always easy to establish paternity, however, and to make matters worse, paternity test results are sometimes inaccurate. When this occurs, it is important to retain legal assistance immediately. Without the help of an experienced family law attorney in Miami , paternity issues can be emotionally charged and complex to navigate.
Paternity Tests 101
A DNA test is the most accurate way to clearly determine who a child’s biological father is. In order to conduct this test, you must first obtain a DNA sample from the potential father, as well as the child.
DNA samples can be collected from various parts of the body, including:
- Cheek swab
- Umbilical cord
- Human tissue
DNA can be collected from the child at any stage of development, including fetal development. Some of these DNA tests are invasive, while others are non-invasive. Both types of tests are just as accurate. While at-home tests usually provide accurate results, Florida courts will only accept professional test results when determining paternity in the eyes of the law.
In general, there are two types of tests that measure DNA results:
- Inclusion Test – This type of test indicates the likelihood of a man being the child’s father by matching DNA loci harvested from the potential father. The higher the DNA loci, the more likely there is a true paternity match.
- Exclusion Test –This type of test invalidates any of the potential father’s chromosomes that do not match those of the child’s. This test is more accurate than the inclusion test because it rules out anyone who is NOT the father.
When a Paternity Test Is Wrong
While paternity tests are usually more than 90% accurate, there are times when they provide inaccurate results, which is usually due to human error. Reasons a paternity test could be wrong include:
- Tampering with results
- Lab error
- Related paternity candidates
- DNA mutations
If you suspect that the results of your paternity test are wrong or you wish to challenge paternity, it is important to speak to an experienced family law attorney in Miami. Your attorney will be able to file a complaint with the court, have the DNA testing reordered and gather any evidence needed to help re-establish paternity. Medical evidence that could benefit your case includes any infertility testing and/or sterilization records.
With paternity comes a lifetime of legal and financial responsibilities, as well as significant emotional attachments. As such, it is important to accurately determine paternity by following a fair and unbiased process. An experienced family law attorney in Miami can protect your rights and your future throughout this process.