Posted on | September 27, 2013 | 9 Comments
*NB title must be spoken with Glaswegian accent to get the full pun effect*
Sometimes when I get really bored I look up pointless bits of law. And sometimes I happen upon them in the course of some actual legal research in furtherance of my case.
And so here is a little nugget I tripped across this week.
DNA tests? Obviously joint expense, split equally between all parties?
See s20(6) Family Law Reform Act 1969 which says
“Where a direction is given under this section [s20 FLRA gives power to the court to direct a bodily sample be taken] the party on whose application the direction is given shall pay the cost of taking and testing bodily samples for the purposes of giving effect to the direction (including any expenses reasonably incurred by any person in taking any steps required of him for the purpose), and of making a report to the court under this section, but the amount paid shall be treated as costs incurred by him in the proceedings.”
So alright, where everyone agrees it’s necessary – a consensus is often reached in care proceedings that it is required because there is a genuine uncertainty – it is legitimate to split the costs. But a putative father who applies for a DNA test, or a Local Authority who asks the parents to undergo one – must pay for the cost of that testing. They have a hypothetical prospect of recovering those costs at the end of the proceedings, but it seems likely to remain hypothetical in most cases.
A point of mere pedantry, but a provision which I had to rely on on behalf of an impecunious Mother recently who could not pay the half of the DNA test that the LAA were likely to say she should pay.