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'I am determined that all cases involving children should be resolved quickly and wherever possible outside court.Since June 2014 DNA Legal has been providing DNA testing in all private family court cases involving children where the evidence was considered as essential to help the case more forward.
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.'
'The opportunity to support families at a time when they are deeply afraid, a time when they do not know what the future holds is the reason that DNA Legal was established.'Speaking of today's announcement, National Family Mediation says fundamental issues such as paternity can and should be established well before family dispute reaches a court room.
'DNA testing has long been used to establish parentage in family law cases, but what is new in this announcement is confirmation that judges now have powers to order tests which will then be funded by CAFCASS.The west of England pilots also explored whether alcohol and drug tests could be restricted without a means test to cases where their findings were determinative in family court cases.
The importance of such testing cannot be downplayed, as it can help significantly in cases where disputes emerge between separating couples regarding arrangements for their children. It also will provide key clarity in instances when parties look to avoid their responsibilities by alleging they are not a parent.
We see numerous cases where these issues can come into play, with such problems only serving to make legal battles more time-consuming and emotionally draining for both the parents involved and – more importantly – their children.
What is concerning is that funding for these tests will come from the budget of CAFCASS which is already overstretched and underfunded. CAFCASS has an important role to play in the majority of cases coming before the court, whereas DNA testing is a feature in a minority of cases. It is hoped that the Minister is not simply resolving one problem by creating another.
"his additional power is however to be welcomed and could be a vital step forward in ensuring that a child’s best interests are always put at the heart of cases related to divorce and separation, but only if the system is properly funded overall.'
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