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Establishing paternity for child support purposes

12054218_S (1).jpgRaising a child is an expensive endeavor and one that a parent shouldn't face alone. Unfortunately, though, far too often noncustodial parents try to dodge their financial obligation to their child, especially when that child is born out of wedlock. In these instances, men oftentimes deny that they are the father of a woman's child. When they are successful in doing so, they avoid child custody and child support issues.

Yet, women in the Midwest should not give up simply because a man claims he isn't the father of a child. Instead, they should do everything in their power to secure the financial resources their children need and deserve. The first step in doing so is to establish paternity.

There are two ways paternity can be established when a child is born out of wedlock. The most efficient way is for the parents to sign an affidavit acknowledging paternity. Here, the parties simply agree that a man is the father of a child and commemorate that agreement in writing. If doubt is raised as to whether a man is a child's father, though, then paternity can be established through DNA testing that shows there is at least a 98% chance that a man is the child's father.

There are other paternity issues that can arise. For example, a man is presumed to be a child's father if he was married to the mother at the time of the child's birth. However, even though this man may be the child's "legal" father, a biological father may come forward. These are delicate and oftentimes complicated legal matters that must be addressed in order to adequately deal with child support and child custody issues.

In most instances, a child support order can only be issued once paternity has been established. Women need to be aware, though, that establishing paternity also gives a man the right to seek visitation and even custody of their children. Child support and child custody are two separate matters, however, and a skilled family law attorney can help address each of them as issues arise.

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