Paternity Lawyers in Toronto Helping You Get Answers
For those trying to establish parental rights or petition for custody, a paternity test can help establish that you are the biological and, therefore, legal father of the child. While the process is a simple one, it’s not always easy to complete. A paternity test requires both the father and the child to agree and be willing to provide a sample. Without this consent, the test can’t go forward, and the case can stall. However, there are other options. Learn more about how paternity is established in Ontario and what happens if someone refuses a test.
If you are trying to establish paternity, our lawyers can help. We can help you understand how paternity is legally established and what to do if someone is refusing a paternity test. Talk to one of our family law lawyers to find out more.
Why Is Establishing Paternity Important?
Everyone wants to know where they came from, and establishing paternity can give definitive answers. However, paternity is also a key aspect of many family law issues. If the parents of a child are not married, establishing paternity needs to be done before other issues like custody and child support can move forward. Showing proof of paternity is also important for unmarried fathers who want to petition the courts for established rights, custody, or a visitation schedule. If you’re not sure if paternity needs to be established in your case before it can move forward, talking with one of our lawyers can help answer this question.
How Do I Get a Paternity Test Ordered?
You may not need to have a court order for a paternity test. If the parents are both willing to agree to the test, you can just have it done, and the results are issued directly to you. However, if the father is refusing to take the test or the mother is refusing access to the child for the child to complete the test, you may have to take the case to court.
While the courts may not actually order a paternity test, they can offer the parties a chance to have the official test done. If one or both refuse, the courts can make a declaration of parentage, which means that they name the father for legal purposes. To make this decision, the courts are generally looking at how likely the person is to be the biological father, such as whether the parents were living together at the time of conception.
Can a Parent Refuse a Paternity Test?
Because a paternity test needs a DNA sample, it can be very difficult to force someone to take the test. In most cases, the courts won’t go this far. This means that the father could refuse to take the paternity test, or the mother could refuse to allow access to the child for the test. However, this doesn’t mean that someone can refuse the test as a way to get out of their obligations or to keep a parent from having rights to their child. If one or more parties refuse the paternity test, the courts can go ahead and name the parents for legal purposes so that the rest of the family law issues can be handled.
What Questions Should I Ask My lawyer?
Before you have a paternity test administered, it’s important to find out if you even need one. For example, in cases where the parents are married, and there are no allegations of infidelity, the courts presume that the husband is the father of the children, and no test is needed to establish parental rights. If you think your situation may require a paternity test, ask your lawyer what to expect, how long the process usually takes, and what will happen if the results go either way. Knowing all of this can provide some peace of mind that you have a path forward no matter what happens.
Paternity doesn’t have to be an unanswered question. Call our office at 647-933-2397 to find out how to start the process of getting a paternity test done. Our lawyers have experience with cases where someone is refusing a paternity test and can walk you through your options.