updated 24 Oct 2012, 10:19
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Mon, Oct 22, 2012
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Paternity testing not common: Lawyers
by Shaffiq Alkhatib

Even though paternity tests are available in Singapore, family lawyers The New Paper spoke to said that they are rarely used in legal tussles.

Mr Sng Kheng Huat, who has been practising law for almost 30 years, said that he has handled only five such cases.

"Cases involving paternity tests are uncommon and in all the cases I handled, it was the men who wanted to go for a paternity test.

"The men would take the test and the results will then be presented as evidence in court."

For the case involving the celebrity, Mr Sng recommends that he go for a paternity test, especially if the woman wants to claim maintenance and if the man disputes that he is the father of the child.

"However, there are no legal provisions to compel the man to go for a paternity test," he said.

Should the celebrity decline to go for one, Mr Sng said that the woman could go to court to give her evidence.

"She has to testify under oath and convince the court that the celebrity fathered the child. She must speak the truth when she is under oath.

"If she is found to be lying later, she could be found guilty of perjury and she can go to jail for that."

Another lawyer, Ms Linda Tay, who has been practising for 20 years, said that she has never encountered a case that requires paternity testing.

In the celebrity's case, Ms Tay said that if he is proven to be the baby's father, the woman can come to court in Singapore and file a maintenance claim against him.

"The court can then compel him to pay maintenance for his child. He must also pay up even if the child is living overseas," she said.

Ms Tay said that with the order from the Singapore court to pay maintenance for the child, the father can get into legal trouble if he does not want to pay.

"The court can force him to pay and as a last resort, he can even end up in jail."

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