A husband is presumed to be the legal father of a child born of a marriage. Only a judge can disestablish the husband as the child’s legal father before a Complaint for Support can be filed against another party.
A birth certificate does not constitute paternity in Pennsylvania. There must be an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) on file.
If paternity is not legally established, it will be addressed at the preliminary conference. Parties can agree at the conference to acknowledge paternity or request genetic testing. A complaint for support must be filed before a preliminary conference is scheduled.
Genetic testing performed in the Domestic Relations office is done using a buccal swab (swabbing inside the cheek).
The fee for genetic testing is $19.75 per person tested. If a person is tested outside of Bucks County, the fee may be higher. The fee is paid by the named defendant if he requests genetic testing and is found to be the biological father. There is no fee if the defendant is excluded as the biological father. Results may take up to four (4) weeks; parties are notified of results by mail.