California is a jurisdiction where genetic testing tends to become a focal point of major courtroom disputes. In an ongoing probate battle over the estate of Mexican pop music legend Juan Gabriel, who passed away last year while on tour, a court has been considering requests for DNA paternity testing from two litigants who claim to be biological children of the late crooner. This requests for DNA testing are more common in family court, particularly in relation to child support and custody disputes.

DNA methods were greatly advanced thanks to advancements in polymerase chain reaction, which has become an excellent legal tool for the purpose of establishing paternity. California law authorizes ordering of DNA testing by courts that wish to establish paternity in a scientific manner.

In child support cases, parentage is initially assumed when married couples live together at the time the child is conceived. However, when they are unmarried, the father is considered to be an alleged father. An individual who legally accepts the role of a father can be ordered to take on certain obligations such as paying child support, but paternity may also be challenged. The mother may then want to have her attorney petition the court for a DNA test.

Establishing paternity is a legal action that can serve many purposes. It can benefit the child who could obtain inheritance rights from the father. In child support disputes, it can give the noncustodial parent the right to receive needed financial support. People who are seeking to have a paternity issue resolved might want to have legal assistance during the process.