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Getting a paternity test

When a baby is born to an unmarried California couple, complications can arise if the alleged father does not believe he is the father or want to pay child support. Before an unmarried mother can seek child support, however, paternity of the child will need to be determined. Several methods can be used to establish paternity.

One way that paternity can be established is to initiate a legal paternity test with a laboratory. If a man believes that he is the father of the child, the two parents can voluntarily sign an acknowledgment of paternity document. In some cases, the child and family services agency may initiate a court-ordered paternity test. Finally, if there is a dispute over child custody or child support, a judge may order DNA paternity testing or even DNA maternity testing.

DNA testing is a simple process. Samples are taken via a cheek swab by a trained professional. These tests have accuracy and reliability rates that are similar to blood tests, but they are noninvasive and painless. When these tests are completed at accredited labs, the samples are handled using a specific procedure so that the results are accepted by the courts and other government agencies that rely on them.

For some individuals, obtaining child support from the other parent can be extremely difficult. In certain cases, the other person may not believe how expensive it can be to raise a child or want to provide any financial support at all. If the other parent refuses to follow a court order or attempts to not pay support by quitting his or her job during a custody dispute, a family law attorney may assist someone with seeking financial support from the other parent by proving that that individual is capable of working or is legally the child's father.

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