How Much Does a Court-Ordered Paternity Test Cost?
A court ordered paternity test, compared to a regular DNA test, is something that is known to be a lot stricter. In fact, a court ordered paternity test follows a strict chain of custody that was put in place to ensure that the right method of sample collection is done and that the test will be secure and cheat-proof. In contrast to an ordinary paternity test, the court-ordered one differs not only in the way that samples are collected but also in the pricing. Although the processes of testing and analyzing to sample in the laboratory are the same, the results of an at-home paternity test will not be used to answer the question to your paternity query at court. Thus, the court-ordered one must be official.
How much does it cost?
- It is known that the costs for ordinary DNA tests are lower than those admissible in court. One single test can go as high as $500 or $600. These figures are common, especially when the test is done for a disputed paternity or child support case.
- According to DNAcenter.com, the costs for paternity tests have become more affordable over the years. The site cited that the test can now be performed for between $400 and $500 since newer technology is more accessible.
- DNAJunction.com has a detailed list of the different tests termed DNA testing. The site has differentiated the legal prices from in-home prices. Since mandated by court, legal prices are more expensive than the in-home tests. As for the paternity test, the low-quality test is priced around $350 while higher quality ones fall between $400 and $600.
- According to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the cost of paternity tests will vary from less than $100 for some home kits to over $500 for the complete testing process through an accredited facility. However, the best thing to do is contact your nearest facility to get an exact price estimate.
What is going to be included?
- The paternity test can be initiated by the father (if he claims and desires to prove that he is the real father of the child) or by the mother (in the hope of making the father recognize that he is the real father of the child). Either way, you need to talk to your lawyer to ensure legality and make sure you use the correct procedure of how to get the test done. For the entire process, Babymed.com has a detailed account on the procedure.
- A legal paternity test is not synonymous with a court ordered test. For the latter, you will need to contact a lawyer who deals with issues of child custody and the like. As per EasyDNA.com, you can also go through certain agencies that are responsible for child support.
- As for the results of paternity testing, they are usually available within 5 to 10 days after the laboratory has received the sample.
What are the extra costs?
- Lawyer’s fee. As mentioned, court ordered paternity test is not the same as in-home DNA tests. Aside from the methods of sample collection and prices, you may need to consider talking to a lawyer in terms of your rights in taking part of the test. As we all know, consulting a lawyer will cost you money as well.
Factors that influence the price:
- Facility that does the paternity test. Whether it is mandated by the court to be done in a specific DNA center or you are asked to choose among a list, the prices for the test vary from one facility to another, not to mention that the price is primarily influenced by the location of the testing facility.
- The fees associated in the entire legal process can also be a big determinant of the costs for the entire procedure.
Tips to know:
- The paternity testing can indicate that a man is highly likely to be the father with about 99.9% accuracy or that he is excluded as being the father with 100% accuracy.
- When talking to legal counsel, be honest about your situation. If you do not know the identity of your child’s father because it could have been more than one man, you cannot simply choose the man based on your own preferences or his financial situation.
- It is highly recommended that the DNA test is done at a facility accredited by the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks). Thus, it is always good to check AABB first to identify the accredited laboratories near your area. This will help you in making sure that you are dealing with a legitimate company that upholds the standards set by the association.
How to save money?
- Compare services and prices from different testing services in your area. To give value to your money, look for the one that has affordable yet quality services and the one that has accreditation and good reputation.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, you can seek assistance from The American Bar Association. The association can assist you in finding pro bono legal services.