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What happens if a mother refuses genetic testing in a paternity case?

Loveland, CO |

According to a CO attorney's website in regard to genetic testing in a paternity case, it says "If either party refuses to submit to genetic testing, the court will likely enter a final ruling on the issue of paternity adverse to the refusing party. This makes it simple.
If mom refuses genetic testing - he's not the dad. If putative dad refuses genetic testing - he is the legal dad."
I am trying to find out if this is true. CAN a mother refuse genetic testing and if so, does the court indeed rule that he's not the father??

This alleged father initiated the petition but only wants access to take my son... NOT to have to pay child support. There is no father on the birth certificate, my son is almost 4 and I receive some state aid. From what I understand, he would have to pay retroactive child support to when my son was born and possibly birthing costs. But he sure doesn't think so. I don't believe he is the father and do not want to have to sign something saying he is. I know most mothers would just want the child support if nothing else but keeping my son safe and away from this guy is more important to me than any amount of money.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. It is hard to envision the scenario you outline. Father's do not usually initiate paternity cases to establish that they are NOT the father and if the mother filed the case, there would be no reason for her to refuse to complete the genetic testing.

    The fact is, a court can order genetic testing. If the order is refused by a party, the Court has a full range of contempt powers to enforce the order and vindicate the dignity of the Court. The Court can make evidentary findings adverse to the party who refused the order, the Court could enter a fine, or the Court could jail the party until the order is complied with.

    You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

  2. I agree with Mr. Harkess that if the court orders genetic testing, you must comply with the order. Court orders must be obeyed. Further, if you are receiving public assistance, you may be required to cooperate with your county child support services to continue to receive public assistance. You may want to ask your case worker about this. Is it possible that Human Services initiated the paternity case and not the possible Father? You are right not sign any statement agreeing that the other party is the father without at least receiving the proof of he is the biological father. Hopefully the DNA test will turn out to be negative. Also, paternity is not necessarily decided by who the biological father is. If there is another possible Father you would want to be determined to be the Father, consult with an attorney.

    This is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship.

  3. To follow up on the previous answer, Colorado does recognize psychological parents. If there is a man who is a father figure in your son's life, he may be a psychological parent.
    Child Support Services may seek to establish a father to obtain support for your son.

    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is advisable to consult with an attorney with full disclosure of relevant facts for a comprehensive leagl opinion.

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