Project Description

Paternity of Children

Paternity of Children

When a relationship ends or a family is having problems it can raise some unexpected issues. One such issue may involve questions about the paternity of your child. There are many reasons why you may want to check who the father of a child is. For example, if the mother is seeking child support payments, you may want to confirm that you do have a legal responsibility for the child.

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If there is doubt or a disagreement about who the father of a child is, it’s important to address this issue quickly because it can impact many other aspects of your case. As an Accredited Family Law Specialist, John Odisho Putrus has experience helping people are involved in disagreements about paternity. Along with our expert team of local family lawyers, he can help you:

  • Understand what your rights and obligations are.
  • How to determine who the child’s biological father is.
  • Make sure you have a legal paternity test.
  • Represent you in Court if there is a disagreement.
  • Protect your interests if there is a claim for child support.

  • Obtain a Court declaration that states who the child’s father is.

Proving Fatherhood

Under the law, a person is considered to be a child’s biological father if:

  • They’re named on the child’s birth certificate or adoption certificate.
  • They’ve signed a statutory declaration saying they’re the father.
  • A Court makes an order that says a person is the child’s father.
  • The child was born when that person was married to or living with the mother.
  • They were living with the mother at any time between 44 weeks and 20 weeks before the child was born.

It’s possible to prove that you’re not the biological father by taking a legal paternity test.

Legal Paternity Tests

If there’s a disagreement about who your child’s father is you can take a paternity test. A paternity test involves taking a sample of DNA from both your child and the possible father to see if they’re a match. This is the most reliable way to determine who the father of a child is. These samples are usually not invasive and involve a mouth swab.

There are several different ways that you can do a paternity test but only some of them will be allowed as evidence in Court. A legal paternity test is one that meets the requirements of the Family Law Act. You may be required to give several DNA samples and each of these are tracked carefully so that you can be assured of the integrity of the results. The test must be taken at a laboratory that is accredited under the Family Law Act. A list of accredited laboratories can be found here.

You can either choose to take a legal paternity test voluntarily or a Court may order one. A Court can order a mother, father, child or someone else to take a legal paternity test. While an adult can refuse to take the paternity test themselves or refuse to give consent for the child the have the test, the Court is legally able to take your refusal into account when determining who the child’s parent it.

For example, if a mother is claiming child support payments from you but you believe you’re not the father, the Court may order you to take a legal paternity test. If you refuse to take the test, the Court may see your refusal as an acknowledgement that you’re the child’s father and order you to pay child support anyway.

Even if the DNA test says that you’re not the child’s father, this will not be enough evidence for the Child Support Agency or the Department of Human Services. They will also need to see a Court declaration that says you are not the child’s father.


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