How To Get A Court Ordered DNA Test?

court ordered dna test

How to Get a Court Ordered Paternity Test?

A court-ordered paternity test is used to establish legal fatherhood in a family court case. Only a judge can order paternity testing. To get a court order, you must file a paternity petition with the court. If the judge accepts your petition, they will issue a court order requiring the defendant to take a paternity test.

You do not need a court order for a judge to accept a DNA test result as admissible evidence. If both parents agree to testing, a court order is not required. All legal DNA tests are performed by an AABB-accredited lab to ensure a proper chain of custody.

Filing a Paternity Petition

To file a petition:

  • Go to your state’s court website and find the paternity petition form.
  • Fill out the form and submit it to the court.

If the court accepts your petition, they will issue an order for the alleged father or mother to appear in court, and paternity testing will be requested. The state will pay for testing if eligible. The judge will provide instructions on where and when your DNA sample collection appointment will take place.

How Long Does it Take?

DNA tests ordered through family court or child services take 4-8 weeks on average or longer to complete. Turnaround times vary by state. Results are sent to the judge and the parties involved with your test. Please keep in mind retrieval of results will vary from state to state.

Can a Mother Refuse a Court-Ordered Test?

Yes, a mother can refuse a court-ordered paternity test. However, she may face consequences like being held in contempt of court or fined.

If there is no court order, an alleged father cannot force the mother to take a DNA test. Therefore, she will face no consequences.  The alleged father would need to file a petition and get a court order first.

  • It’s recommended to consult a family law attorney for advice and guidance regarding your state’s paternity establishment protocols.