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What if a paternity test is refused?

There are many reasons the biological father of a child should be known. Paternity tests are taken in Michigan primarily in regard to child custody, child support and visitation issues. But what happens when either the mother or the alleged father refuses a court-ordered paternity test? Since the court looks at the welfare of the child first and wants to ensure whatever happens is in the child’s best interests, there could be ramifications to saying no to such a test.

Court-ordered paternity test

Filing a civil lawsuit is the first step to secure a court-ordered paternity test. Here are those who may do so:

  • Mother of the child
  • Pregnant woman
  • A man who believes he is the biological father of a child who has already been born or who is as yet unborn
  • Someone with the legal authority to act on behalf of the child
  • A social service agency in the state that is claiming child neglect
  • A child who is no longer a minor within one to five years after reaching the age of majority

Refusing a test

If a woman refuses to have a man take a paternity test, she may not be entitled to receive child support from the man she believes to be the father. As for the possible father, he can only contest paternity within a set time frame. If the mother of the child refuses to agree to a paternity test, it is crucial for a man who is questioning whether he is the father of the child to request a test be done prior to the birth of the child or very shortly thereafter.

If a man refuses to take a court-ordered paternity test in Michigan, he may be found in contempt of court in which case he could be fined or even spend time behind bars. He could still be ordered to pay child support. Suffice it to say, it is best for everyone concerned if both people agree to a paternity test.

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