DNA tests to determine parentage could end acrimonious family court battles, Justice Minister Simon Hughes has said after funding was announced. Between £500,000 and £1m a year will come from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service to pay for the tests in England from September.

Government cuts in 2013 meant legal aid was no longer available for DNA tests. A Ministry of Justice spokesman said this resulted in longer court cases when parents could not afford the fee. It is hoped the funding will save the courts time and money, he said.

The move follows two pilot schemes in Taunton and Bristol, which were set up after anecdotal evidence suggested courtroom arguments, particularly about parentage, caused delays in divorce cases.

Findings from the pilots suggested the tests mean judges could be more confident when making decisions about children, and parents would be more likely to follow the court’s orders.

If you are currently dealing with a family court matter and require legal advice and support contact the family team at Ringrose Law in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford, Spalding and Newark or call Nichola on 01529 301300.


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