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Establishing paternity through a DNA test

When Kentucky parents are not married, the alleged father of the child may be asked by the mother to pay child support. Before the court will order the alleged father to pay, however, those involved in the child support dispute will usually be required to undergo DNA testing.

DNA tests have accuracy rates of up to 99.99999 percent and are used by courts to conclude whether or not an alleged father is actually the child's biological parent. Once paternity has been established, the father may be required to begin making child support payments. However, establishing paternity also has other uses. For example, paternity allows the father to potentially seek custody of the child or seek visitation.

It is important to note that home DNA test results will not stand up in court. In order for a DNA test to be accepted in court, the samples must be collected at certified facilities, such as hospitals or medical offices, and be analyzed by accredited labs. Collecting the actual DNA is easy and just as accurate as a blood test. A trained professional will simply swab the inside of a person's cheek. For paternity testing, all parties involved, meaning the alleged father, the mother and the child, will need to have their DNA taken.

If a person has signed the child's birth certificate, he is considered, by law, to be the child's legal father. As such, he could be required to pay child support in a divorce if the mother is given full or primary custody. However, the child support payments that the court may order depend on a wide number of factors, including both parents' income. If a person's income decreases due to a change in jobs or circumstances, a family law attorney could go back to court to request a modification in the child support order.

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