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Can You Refuse a Paternity Test in Florida

by | Dec 23, 2023 | Uncategorized

Although establishing legal fatherhood can sometimes be a challenging process, both the personal and legal benefits for the child involved are always worth it. Whether you’re facing a contentious situation or are simply trying to follow the proper steps to establish paternity, understanding the intricacies of Florida family law can sometimes be frustrating.

One of the most common areas of confusion in regards to paternity law in Florida is the question of whether or not an individual can refuse to undergo a paternity test. Depending on the specific situation, there are generally legal measures that are designed to support the court’s ultimate goal: ensuring that a child has a legal father recognized by the court and the rightful benefits that come with it.

Establishing Paternity in Florida

When a child is born in the state of Florida, there are three different scenarios that may occur when it comes to establishing paternity. It’s important to understand that biological fatherhood and legal fatherhood are not the same things; in order for the legal system to distinguish an individual as the father of a child, paternity must be officially recognized.

That can be achieved through one of several ways.

  • At the hospital when the child is born: If the parents are married when the child is born, then legal paternity is automatically established. There is no action required on the part of either parent. If the parents are not married at the child’s birth, a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity can be signed by both parents at the hospital.
  • By acknowledgment or legitimization: Until a child is 18 years of age, parents can voluntarily complete the paternity process by both agreeing and participating in the process. Additionally, unmarried parents who later wed can file for paternity during the process of getting their marriage license.
  • By legal order: Until a child is 18 years of age, paternity can be established via an order from the Florida Department of Revenue or a judge in family court.

Is it Legal to Refuse a Court-Ordered Paternity Test in Florida?

In the event that you are part of court-ordered paternity proceedings, genetic testing will generally be required to established scientific proof of a biological relationship. It’s important to keep in mind that refusing to comply with legal orders, including declining a paternity test, is never a good idea.

Neither the mother or the alleged father have substantiated grounds on which to refuse a DNA paternity test, and doing so can result in being charged with contempt of court. This crime can result in significant fines and even jail time, typically ending in a judgment that requires the father to pay child support regardless.

Get a Fast, Discreet DNA Paternity Test at ARCpoint Labs of Fort Myers

If you need a paternity test in Florida, it’s likely that accuracy, affordability, and convenience are a few of your key priorities. With years of experience and a highly-professional team of technicians, ARCpoint Labs of Fort Myers can provide you the discreet DNA testing services you need to move forward in both legal proceedings and personal situations. It’s important that you can trust in your lab test results – especially when dealing with questions of paternity – so don’t leave your future in the hands of a low-quality lab. Instead, choose ARCpoint Labs for the ultimate in professionalism and exceptional service.

For more information about Florida paternity testing and which test might be right for you, contact ARCpoint Labs of Fort Myers today.

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