For parenting matters and child support payment issues, a mother may wish to request a court ordered paternity test to confirm the biological father of the child. In some instances, a father may also wish to prove that he is the biological father, and sometimes, prove that he is NOT the biological father. If you are in a situation where you may need to prove the biological father of your child, here’s everything you need to know about a paternity test in Qld.
Presumptions of Parentage
Before requesting a court ordered paternity test, our courts in Qld will typically use a framework to make an assumption about who the parents are without any evidence. They might use the following presumptions outlined in the Family Law Act:
- A child is born to a woman while she’s married to a man, then the husband is presumed to be the father of the child (Section 69P);
- A man and women cohabitate without being married during the time period of 44 weeks and 20 weeks prior to the child’s birth (Section 69Q);
- The person’s name is entered as a parent of the child on their birth certificate (Section 69R);
- Another court (either Australian or a court of prescribed overseas jurisdiction) has made a finding of parentage (Section 69S);
- The person (being the father) has executed a document under the Commonwealth or State or Territory law acknowledging that he is the father of the child (Section 69T).
There are some circumstances where the presumptions above either do not apply or have been wrongly applied and must be rebutted. For instance, the mother may have had multiple partners at the same time. If a dispute arises around the paternity of the child based off these presumptions, and parentage is required in order to adequately determine child support or anything else relating to the child’s needs, then a court ordered paternity test is necessary in Qld.
In order to apply for a court ordered paternity test in Qld, the court can either request a test, or one party, or an independent lawyer representing the child’s best interests, (Section 68L) can make an application.
A DNA test generally involves collecting a sample (usually a mouth swab) from both parents as well as the child. The DNA from all samples are then compared. This testing process must comply with the requirements outlined in the Family Law Act 1975.
The results can then be presented in court and the court can make a declaration confirming whether or not a person is the child’s father. If a man refuses to participate in the paternity test, and it is assumed he is the father, the Court may still make a declaration stating that he is the child’s father and that they should pay child support.
What Do The Results Mean?
If a man undergoes a court ordered paternity test in Qld and is found to be the biological father, he may be required to pay Child Support (if he isn’t already). This amount is generally calculated based on the father’s income and assets.
If the Court finds that the presumed biological father is not the father of the child, then he may seek to recover money already paid in Child Support. Recovering the money is not an automatic decision by the Court. Whether or not the “father” or mother suspected that he was not the father of the child and the relationship between the “father” and the child will be taken into consideration. To find out more, call us to speak to our lawyers. If repayments are granted, the Court will decide has to how they are made – either as a lump sum or periodically.
Need To Seek Advice Regarding a Court Ordered Paternity Test in Qld?
We recommend you seek legal advice if you are unsure of who the child’s biological parent is, or if you have concerns regarding the court ordered DNA test process in Qld and other ways in which to prove paternity. We are experienced in all family and children’s legal matters. Please get in touch to speak to our team.