Merrell Law Firm, LLC

How DNA tests influence child support rulings

Alabama parents are generally required to financially support their minor children. However, there may be questions about who the father of the child is. In some cases, individuals may try to cast doubt about their paternity even if there is reason to believe that they are their children's legal fathers. If necessary, a judge can ask for a DNA test to confirm who a child's father is.

DNA tests are over 99.9% accurate, and samples are generally tested twice to ensure that the results of a given test are correct. To collect a DNA sample, a technician will swab the inside of a person's mouth or cheek. The painless process is usually just as accurate as a blood test without the need to poke or prod the person giving the sample. There is a record of everyone who comes into contact with the sample to ensure that a court will accept the results of a test.

The results of a DNA test can have implications for a child, the child's mother and the person alleged to be the father. If the DNA test comes back negative, the alleged father doesn't have to pay child support and generally has no rights to the child. However, if the test reveals that a man is the child's father, he must generally pay support and be given visitation rights.

A family law attorney may be able to help an individual determine who a child's father is in a timely manner. Generally speaking, a DNA test is the fastest and most accurate way to accomplish this goal. If an individual refuses to take the test, a judge may begin contempt proceedings.

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