How does DNA testing affect child support cases?

New Jersey parents who are involved in child support disputes might need to seek a DNA test to confirm paternity. DNA testing to establish paternity has become very common in child support cases as the results it yields are accurate to up to 99.99 percent. Results could be used to relieve a man of support responsibility or confirm that he needs to be financially responsible for the child.

DNA tests are often used when the parents of a child were not married when the child was conceived or born. In those cases, the father’s name is not legally required on the birth certificate, and he is referred to as the “alleged father.” In order to legally establish paternity, a DNA test is required. The DNA test can be voluntarily requested by the parents, or it can be ordered by the court or a by a state child welfare agency. Results from DNA testing may help bring about quicker resolutions to legal cases. DNA testing is also used in many states to administer Temporary Aid to Needy Families so that non-custodial parents can be identified and held responsible for financial support.

Child support payments are not the only result of getting a DNA test and establishing paternity. In some cases, a DNA test has worked as the catalyst for a father developing a relationship with a child he might not have previously recognized as his own.

In cases where a non-custodial parent is questioning possible child support payments, DNA test results might make the difference whether that parent has to pay or not. For parents going through this situation, a lawyer with family law experience may explain the process, their options and the steps necessary to resolve the situation. The lawyer may also legally represent the parent in court appearances and negotiations.