There are several reasons the state of Kentucky may wish to establish paternity, including but not limited to child support determinations, custody determinations and the child’s peace of mind. The state may use one of two methods to establish paternity: Voluntary acknowledgment by one or both parents or state-established legal processes, which often involve genetic testing. That said, the state is also in the habit of de-establishing paternity. The National Conference of State Legislatures explains the process for doing so.
Upon the request of one or both parents in a contested paternity case, the court will request that all involved parties (the alleged father, the mother and the child) submit to genetic testing. Though not 100% accurate, genetic testing typically yields results that have a high degree of accuracy. Each state, Kentucky included, has the power to set the accuracy threshold.
It is not uncommon for alleged fathers to object to genetic testing. However, the state may conduct genetic testing regardless of the supposed father’s wishes. If the first set of test results are positive, the father may request the courts to perform a second test. However, he may have to pay the fees associated with the process himself. If the second set of tests yield positive results, the state will operate under a rebuttable (or, in some states, decisive) presumption that the man is the father.
Not just anyone can challenge paternity. According to FindLaw, a parent or parents must have grounds to challenge a prior finding of paternity:
- Fraudulent lab results
- Tainted lab results
- Proof that someone tampered with the lab results
- Proof of sterility or infertility
- Evidence that the mother was unfaithful during the marriage
However, state laws vary regarding grounds for contesting paternity. One should review Kentucky laws before filing a petition to challenge a prior finding of paternity.