New Jersey Paternity Law can be very specific, so it’s important for both parties to know their rights should an unexpected pregnancy occur.
In New Jersey, if paternity is contested, then there will likely be several Court proceedings. If the pregnancy has not yet occurred, then the Court may Order the anticipated biological Father to pay support pending a later paternity test. Once the child is born and a claim for paternity or a contested paternity claim is made, then the Court will likely order genetic paternity testing.
Depending upon the financial situation of the parties, the cost of this genetic testing may be the equal responsibility of the parties (50/50), or in some instances, the State may pay for the testing.
If paternity is proven, then the Court will likely provide (absent an agreement between the parties) provisions for parenting time, child support payments, medical insurance responsibilities and the like. If paternity is not proven, then the alleged Father rarely has any further responsibility to contribute toward the child.
If the parties are married, the Husband is presumed to be the biological Father. Likewise, it’s important for a party who contests paternity to take action. New Jersey case law has held that caring for a child and holding it out as your own may create a responsibility to that child, even if the child is not of one’s own blood.
Paternity testing today is a simple procedure, and not invasive toward the parties or the child in any way. Results today are fast and accurate, and almost assuredly will be conducted by licensed and respected labs if ordered by the Court.
Your New Jersey Divorce Lawyer:
If you’re considering a New Jersey divorce or Family Law action contact me to discuss your options. You can schedule an initial consultation by calling my office at 908-237-3096 or by scheduling your own divorce consultation online by clicking here.