New Jersey law gives every child the right to be supported and educated by his natural father or mother, including children born out of wedlock. The Uniform Parentage Act was passed in 1983 (amended further in 1994) and set forth principles that all parents and their children, regardless of marital status, have equal rights with respect to one another and to establish a method to determine parentage when disputed. Blood tests and genetic testing have come into prominence in recent years. Before an assumed father is made to submit DNA to determine paternity, a court must first determine if there is an articulable reason for suspecting that the defendant is the father.
Once the test results are returned, the Family Part Intake Service will make a recommendation. If a party does not accept the recommendation, the paternity matter will be scheduled for trial.