Sunday, 3 July 2016

Do you need a DNA test in family court proceedings?

There is a DNA Testing Pilot Project in place for orders needed in family court proceedings.

With the restrictions in Legal Aid Funding over the past few years, this can often leave no way of funding the cost of DNA, alcohol and drug testing in private law children matters.  The outcome of these tests can often be fundamental to the resolution of the arrangements for the child.

From 23 November 2015, funding has been introduced to allow CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) to pay for DNA tests to establish the paternity of a child in the family courts.  This funding is only available in the following circumstances:
1. An application has been made for Child Arrangement Order;
2. A decision cannot be made by the Court as to what the arrangements should be for the child(ren) unless the dispute about paternity of the child(ren) is resolved; and
3. The parents are prepared to co-operate with the DNA testing.

CAFCASS will manage this testing and are required to provide the results to the Court within 6 weeks of the Order being made.

There is currently no similar provision for Drug and Alcohol Testing but watch this space…….

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