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The importance of DNA testing in paternity cases

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2022 | Child Custody |

Some Nebraska parents might find themselves in a situation where paternity needs to be established if paternity was not established voluntarily before and during the child’s birth. The reasons might vary, but parents must follow specific rules to establish paternity after birth, and this usually involves DNA paternity testing.

How do DNA paternity tests work?

A DNA paternity test compares the DNA profile of the non-gestational parent and the child. If the test is done after the child is born, saliva or blood samples from each are used. In some cases, the DNA paternity test might be done before the child’s birth. This might be done using a blood sample from the gestational parent to identify fetal DNA which can then be matched to a saliva sample from the possible non-gestational parent. It can also be done if chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis is done to check the health of the fetus.

Using DNA tests in paternity cases

According to Nebraska law, filing to establish paternity must be done within 4 years of the child’s birth, with some exceptions. As part of the process to establish paternity, a DNA paternity test is used to show the non-gestational parent’s relationship to the child. Once paternity is established, the process will then include:

  • Child custody order
  • Parenting time schedule
  • Health insurance order
  • Child support order

Other important reasons for DNA paternity tests

Besides establishing paternity, there are other reasons parents might seek a DNA paternity test. These include:

  • To complete a health profile
  • To promote the bond between parent and child
  • To show eligibility for social security or military benefits
  • To receive an inheritance

If a DNA paternity test is needed for a family law case, there are specific laboratories that can complete the test. Over-the-counter and other non-legal tests will not be accepted for this purpose.