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  • DNA tests for family cases

    DNA tests for family cases
    DNA tests

    Justice Minister, Simon Hughes, has announced that as from September 2015, DNA tests will be available in all family courts to determine a child’s parentage. The information obtained following pilot schemes in Taunton and Bristol mean that Judges should be more confident in relying on the results of DNA tests. Mr Hughes said ‘I am determined that all cases involving children should be resolved quickly and wherever possible outside court. However when they do come to court they should be resolved in a civilised way so that children don’t suffer. Unambiguous and conclusive DNA tests will prove parentage and help to end acrimonious and embarrassing court battles.”

    Affordable drug and alcohol tests in family cases

    If one parent alleges that the other takes drugs or drinks excessive amounts of alcohol which leads to a risk of harm to the children, drug and/or alcohol tests can be ordered by the Court. Such tests are expensive. The pilot schemes in Taunton and Bristol also looked at drug and alcohol testing in family cases. The results of the questions regarding means testing and tests were inconclusive. Therefore, CAFCASS (the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) will be testing and hopefully developing a new model to provide affordable testing which will then give the Courts the information needed to give certainty to assist in making decisions. It is well known in family law circles that CAFCASS are already stretched and bursting at the seams. It will be interesting to see howhomelong this new initiative will take to test and report!


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