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The role of DNA paternity tests in family law

Texas residents may be interested in knowing the role DNA testing plays in child support cases. DNA testing is a tool that is commonly used when proving the paternity or maternity in child support, child custody and divorce cases.

The results of a DNA test may determine that a person must pay child support or that no child support is required. A man who is currently paying child support may have that burden lifted if the results show that he is not the biological father of the child. DNA testing technology has advanced to the point where parentage can be determined with rates up to 99.99999% accuracy.

In most places, when a child is born to a couple that is not married, the father is not automatically granted legal custody. Instead, he is referred to as the "alleged father." Therefore, the man's name will not appear on the child's birth certificate until he legally acknowledges that he is the child's father or until the courts determine parentage.

There are a number of examples of famous individuals, including Mick Jagger and Steve Jobs, who were actively and financially involved in their children's lives only after DNA testing proved that they were the fathers. DNA testing that is admissible in court must be administered by an institution that follows the guidelines laid out by the court. DNA testing can bring questions of custody and child support to a swift resolution.

An attorney specializing in family law may assist clients who are fighting for child custody or child support. Lawyers could draw up documents, including schedules for child visitation, as well as represent one of the parents in child custody hearings. Attorneys may argue that their clients are fit to have custody of their children and that it is in the kids' best interests.

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