“Is You Is Or Is You Not My Baby, Baby?”

Jenni BlissettThe above song title written by Louis Jordan, of course, is used in a different context when the question is asked in a legal proceeding. From biblical times it is told that Solomon was required to decide the parentage of a child and to the present time, disputes continue over parentage.

Thankfully, science can, in many cases, put the question beyond dispute, following the advent of DNA testing.

When a parentage of a child is at issue under family law proceedings, the Court may require a “parenting testing procedure” to be carried out to help in determining the parentage. Such an order may be made as follows:

  1. at the request of a party to the proceedings;
  2. at the request of a party representing a child;
  3. at the Court’s own initiative.

A Court will not order parenting testing merely because it has been requested to do so. The applicant must show an honest and reasonable belief that there is doubt as to paternity. The Court will objectively assess the circumstances giving rise to the applicant’s belief.

In the case of FR (1992) 15 FAMLR 533 it was held :

“…there must be an honest, bona fide, and reasonable belief as to the doubt (in relation to the parentage). An objective test is not to be applied that evidence in such an application is seldom, (if ever) sufficient to enable the Court to make an objective conclusion.” 

Should a party refuse to comply with an Order for parenting testing, the Court may draw such inferences from the failure to undergo testing as appears just in the circumstances.

At Everingham Solomons we have the expertise and experience to assist you with all legal matters associated with Family Law because Helping You is Our Business.

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