Is Paternity Court real? Answering the most asked question about the show

Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court

From 2013 to 2020, MGM Television’s Paternity Court, also known as Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, had a successful syndicated run for seven seasons. The courtroom reality show follows ‘judge’ Lauren Lake as she presides over family cases of the litigants surrounding issues with paternity, DNA confirmations, and will disputes.

Its characteristics of a legal drama combined with elements of a sensationalist talk show had viewers pondering over the legitimacy of the cases. In what remains one of the most asked questions about the show, many wonder whether the family cases shown on Paternity Court were real or staged.

Paternity Court is a reality show in a simulated courtroom but the people and the cases are real

At its core, Paternity Court is a reality show with a simulated court setting, meaning that the ‘plaintiffs’ are guests on the show with real issues. However, the courtroom and proceedings are not fully legal and are mere arbitrations in truth.

While Lauren Lake wears a judge robe on the show, she is not a real judge perse. She is a qualified lawyer and legal analyst who also happens to be a relationship expert, making her the ideal television judge for cases in Paternity Court.

“On Paternity Court, the cases and the people are most certainly real. We cover a wide range of paternity issues and it is real people, real cases, real emotions and it can be really raw,” said Lauren Lake when she was asked if the cases on Paternity Court were real.

Moreover, the show, which focuses on one case per episode, is filmed in a studio. The first season was taped in the Sunset Bronson Studios in Los Angeles and from the second season on, it was produced in the Georgia Public Broadcasting Studios in Atlanta.

Episodes usually end with Lake revealing the result of a paternity test. In the later seasons, the show follows up with the family after the events of the court. Executive producer David Armour believed that the show had a ‘responsible side to help families get on the right path’. He said:

“We want to dig into these stories much deeper than any other court show does. We’re dealing with substantial issues. On this show, we’re dealing with resolutions about how families can move forward now that they have [paternity test] results.”