Why parents may seek a DNA test

Child support disputes in Texas can be complicated situations that can take a long time to get resolved. However, resolution often comes when a DNA test is made, paternity and maternity are legally established and support is ordered by the court.

There are many reasons why parents seek DNA tests. For some parents, it might mean having a father legally recognized that a child is his. This can then result not only in support but also in a relationship between parent and child. Ascertaining parentage is very important, but when children are conceived and born when the parents aren't married, the father's name does not have to be on the birth certificate. In those cases, the father is considered the 'alleged father" until paternity is established by a DNA test. Once that is completed, however, a court can order the father to pay support and grant him visitation rights.

Parents can voluntarily seek DNA tests to establish parentage. DNA tests can also be requested by a state's child welfare service agency and ordered by a judge during child support cases. The results of DNA testing can bring resolution to legal cases. In addition, DNA tests are often requested in divorce cases and for other governmental uses, such as to deliver TANF to needy families. The government may use a DNA test to ensure that the noncustodial parent is contributing to the child's upbringing financially.

For parents involved in a child support dispute, legal representation is vital. A lawyer can explain the state's legislation and formula regarding support payments and represent the parent in court proceedings.

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