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. Reasonable efforts will be made by the Domestic Relations Section to conduct the genetic testing during the initial conference. Genetic testing samples are collected by a Domestic Relations staff member via a mouth swab, sealed in an envelope in the parties' presence, and sent to the company, DDC, to complete the testing. If the child is not present at the time of the conference, the alleged father/defendant will be tested during the conference and the mother and child will be scheduled to return to the Domestic Relations Office within 10 days for genetic testing. The Conference Officer will finish conducting the initial conference. 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, if necessary. The Defendant is assessed the cost of $59.25 per family (mother, alleged father and all children involved in the action) for testing if determined to be the biological father of the child. In certain circumstances, a per person charge of $19.75 will apply. 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.