– from Martin G. in Ottawa, WI

Question Details:

I am in the midst of a paternity suit. The mother alleges that I am the father, but I am not. We did not have sex during the necessary time frame. However, she is bringing in “expert” testimony to explain a blood test. How will it affect my closing argument if I do not have an expert rebut the claims during the hearing?

Family Law Attorney Response:

It will affect your case in a negative way if the expert concludes that you are the father. There are different kinds of tests and, depending on which method is used, parentage can be debated. HLA blood testing is one example where the presence of genetic markers are found which could only be inherited from the parents. A test lacking these markers would exclude parentage. With the onset of improved testing, we're seeing more accurate results, but the court is likely to go with an expert's testimony if there is no comparable defense.

This is seen in the case of T.A.T. v. R.E.B. (In re Paternity of M.J.B.) 144 Wis. 2d 638, 425 N.W.2d 404 (1988) (Reversing 137 Wis. 2d 157, 404 N.W.2d 64 (Ct. App. 1987)). In this case, the alleged father did not provide expert testimony to rebut the testimony from the mother’s expert. He was further barred from questioning the reliability of the HLA blood testing during his closing argument because he did not begin this action during the proceedings. He was found to be the father. Upon appeal the decision was reversed, but upon review from the supreme court the decision of the appeals court was reversed.

I advise you to contact an attorney to discuss your case first-hand before moving any further.

Lawyer Holly Mullin from Sterling Law Offices
Holly Mullin, J.D.
Family Law Attorney

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