Paternity



Establishing Paternity: This is obviously important for both parties to know. Children must be cared for, in many ways--emotionally, spiritually, physically, educationally--but the caring will also be financial. Kudos to the men out there who pay for the children they "think" they have fathered, and boo to the ones who refuse to pay when they should.

Benefits of Genetic Testing--it ensures that both parents, the child, and the courts have the "right" man, so to speak. Naming a father is important for the child, who may wish to elicit benefits from him, such as social security. Even though some couples may not be married, each will still have the same responsibilities as a married parent who is divorcing, and fall under the same Child Support guidelines.

Costs for establishing a paternal match during Pregnancy, Birth, Beyond: Fortunately, paternity testing is available for those who are just curious, and at home dna testing was made commonplace by DNA Diagnostic Center in 2008. Anyone can purchase a kit at a local drugstore for $30, and pay around $119 to run the labwork. This test is not for court though, it is strictly for curiousity!

During pregnancy, there is a risk to the mother and the child if a parentage test is performed. I am finding it difficult to believe that any woman would undergo an amniocentesis to establish paternity, but this is one way to do it--or with CVS, Chorionic Villus Sampling, at 10-13 weeks. In my opinion (after having an amnio for a different reason), I would wait until the baby's birth to find out.

At Birth--the Birth Certificate and Naming a Legal Father: AmericanPregnancy.org offers good information on this topic, and why naming a father using the AOP is significant at the birth of a child.

DNA Testing Centers:

  • American Paternity Association.org
  • DNA Diagnostics Center 800-798-0580

  • LabCorps

  • Qwest Diagnostics

At home tests: I found the American Paternity Association's website to be really helpful. You may search for a pharmacy, lab, or doctor near you, and the list was comprehensive. The Identigene brand kit was the one I saw listed, as over 99% accurate in establishing the parental relationship.

Courts: Either party may ask the court to order a dna test to prove fatherhood. Some labs, like Labcorps, will only do dna testing with a court order. Others may proceed without a court order.

Payments: I've found that a variety of situations may occur. Some states/counties require the plaintiff to pay (whoever is bringing up the need to establish fatherhood), some require the defendant to pay IF he is found to be the father, some counties even help to pay. Some couples work it out themselves and split the costs.

Child Support: Once paternity is established, the child support guideline for your state will be in place. Visit the ACF website for the online Child Support Application for your state, and begin paying for the support your child needs.

Child Support Series
Children And Divorce Series
Divorce For Men

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