In cases where one needs a paternity test to be able to pursue matters in a court of law, they will need to opt for a legal paternity test. This type of test is done in cases when one is absolutely certain that a legal case will ensue which may involve issues of visitation, child custody and maintenance.

Legal testing is not recommended when one simply fosters a doubt regarding who may be the father- in such cases it is a home DNA paternity test which is recommended.

How is the legal paternity test carried out?

The legal DNA paternity test (sometimes called a court admissible paternity test) involves what is known as a “chain of custody”. This “chain of custody” is essentially a process for collecting DNA samples that is overlooked by a neutral third party. This third party person is known as a sampler and is often a medical doctor or qualified nurse. What the sampler will be responsible for is to physically collect the DNA samples from all the people involved and authenticate them- they will need to confirm who the samples came from.

Test participants will need to provide identification and passport photos. The sampler will need to sign the photos in order to show that the samples for the legal paternity test have in fact been taken from the people who should genuinely be involved in the test.

A bit more about court admissible paternity testing

The DNA testing kit necessary for the test is normally sent to the person who purchases the test. An appointment will be set up with the sampler and the people involved in the test will need to present themselves on the day with the test kit. They will need the necessary documents of identification and for infants or children copies of their birth certificates.

After the sampler has collected the DNA and verified the samples, he or she will seal off the kit and send it for testing. The test results will then be sent to the person who has requested the test.

In the vast majority of cases, the sampler’s fee is not included in the cost of the test but this is normally the cost of a standard medical visit in your country.

Give or take, legal paternity testing follows much the same procedure or “chain of custody” from country to country although there may be small variations.

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The case with married couples and children is often clear; but when it comes to non-married couples it more often unclear. Paternity testing has indeed helped solve countless disputes but let us delve further into this by understanding visitation rights and paternity disputes. Read more.