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DNA test results affect child support decisions

As many Ohio parents know, child support disagreements can become very tense. Complications add up if there is any question about paternity. In those cases, results from DNA testing might be the key to resolving the issues.

Questions of paternity often come up when a child's parents were not married at the time of conception and sometimes at the time of birth. In those cases, the father would be considered an "alleged father," and his name would not legally have to appear in the child's birth certificate. However, if the couple splits after the child is born, questions about child support might arise, particularly if there are also questions surrounding the child's parentage. To arrive at concrete child support determinations, a DNA test might be ordered. The results of the test can help settle the questions and resolve the case.

Parents might also voluntarily seek DNA testing to confirm parentage. In addition to court-ordered DNA tests, state child welfare agencies might also request DNA testing in their proceedings. DNA tests are routinely used by state agencies when providing Temporary Aid to Needy Families in order to establish the identity of non-custodial parents and hold them responsible to their financial responsibility for their children. With DNA results considered up to 99.99 percent accurate, determining parentage through a DNA test is becoming more common.

Child support can mark the difference in the quality of life of a family. It is important that all involved adhere to a fair, just decision. Many states do have formulas for determining child support amounts. Parents negotiating support issues might consult with a family law lawyer for help in understanding how the state determines child support. A lawyer may also explain the options open to parents and offer legal representation in seeking child support from a former partner.

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