If a child is born out of wedlock, the issue of paternity is addressed at the initial conference. If the alleged father/defendant agrees he is the father of the child, an Acknowledgement of Paternity/Waiver of Trial is signed by the defendant at the conference. The defendant may deny paternity at the initial conference and request genetic tests to determine paternity of the child. The parties will be scheduled a testing date at the conference for the parties and child to appear. The testing is held in the Domestic Relations Office once a month by the company Orchid and photo identification is mandatory. If the results indicate the alleged father is excluded from paternity of a child, the support case is dismissed with prejudice (which means the mother of the child cannot attempt to file against the father in the future) and the total costs will be assessed to the filing party, if a petitioner is not a welfare recipient. If the results indicate that an alleged father cannot be excluded from paternity, an order is entered and a second conference may be scheduled. The defendant is assessed the cost of $56.85 per family (mother, alleged father and all children involved in the action) for testing if determined to be the biological father of the child. At the conference an Order of Support is entered per the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines. Support is awarded retroactively back to the filing date of the complaint.
*Proof of original service must be established prior to the establishment of paternity and/or support.