Justin Bieber: What Could Happen with the Paternity Suit?

UPDATED 11/05/2011 at 09:00 PM EDT Originally published 11/05/2011 at 12:45 PM EDT

Justin Bieber Baby Scandal: A Legal Analysis
Justin Bieber and Mariah Yeater
Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty; Pacific Coast News
A simple swipe of a Q-tip inside Justin Bieber's cheek could end or escalate his baby drama – and he may not have a choice in the matter.

Bieber asserts he's never met 20-year-old Mariah Yeater, but could potentially be ordered by a judge to take a DNA test to prove he's not the father of her child, which she claims in a paternity suit filed Monday in San Diego, Calif.

"The judge has to weigh two things: Bieber's right to privacy versus the child's right to know who the father is," L.A. family law attorney Steve Mindel (who is not involved with the case) tells PEOPLE. "Unless the judge thinks the woman made everything up, the court will likely order the test as the quickest resolution."

Adds Mindel: "If Bieber indeed never met this woman, a DNA test may be the only way to clear his name."



Yeater's attorneys say they have "credible evidence" to prove their case and are seeking a "modest and rightful" settlement.

If Bieber is indeed the father, Yeater "has hit the jackpot," says L.A. family law attorney Lynn Soodik, who's also not involved in the case. "She could potentially receive tens of thousands of dollars in monthly support until the child turns 18. By law, a child is entitled to live the same standard as the father."

Bieber is required to file a response to the lawsuit before a Dec. 15 hearing.

Experts also say it's possible that Bieber's attorneys will quietly agree to a test without the court's involvement to avoid a showdown in court.

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