Paternity actions are used to determine biological parentage.
If there is a question as to whether you are the biological father, it is very important to obtain a DNA or genetic marker test as soon as possible. If you are adjudicated the father––meaning that if a court issues a judgement that you have parental rights, obligation, or must pay child support––and you find out otherwise later on, you will likely not be able to change or overturn that determination.
Merely being on the child’s birth certificate or signing a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage does not grant you any legal or custodial right despite biological parentage. Even if you are on the child’s birth certificate or sign a voluntary acknowledgement of parentage, you may still be responsible for paying child support.
For these reasons, it is crucial for you to obtain a child paternity test, and you have the right to compel the administration of a DNA or genetic marker test to question who is the actual biological father before a court issues a judgment for child support. It is even possible to contest paternity and have a court order a DNA or genetic marker test with regard to children born during a marriage, under appropriate circumstances.
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