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When there is any doubt about who your child’s father is, you, as the dad, should take a paternity test. A paternity test will clear up any confusion or false claims regarding who the biological father truly is. While paternity tests are often used by mothers to hold fathers accountable for child support, fathers can use them too to ensure their own parenting rights.
A paternity test is just another name for a DNA test, which compares the DNA of the potential father to that of the child or infant. Nearly 300,000 paternity tests are performed in the U.S. annually, according to studies. Paternity testing can be done when the child is still a fetus, though this is less common and may involve unnecessary risks. Paternity testing is virtually 100 percent accurate, though it does not need to be done if the mother is married to the father at the time of the birth — in this case, it is generally assumed that the husband is the father unless stated otherwise. The following scenarios are examples of when a father might want to have a paternity test performed:
Whether you are seeking child custody or visitation, you must be able to prove that you are the child’s biological father. A paternity test can quickly accomplish this and put any doubts to bed. After your paternity has been proven, you can then petition the court for custody, visitation rights, and to be included in the parenting plan.
A mother seeking child support must go through the court system to have a paternity test ordered for the alleged father of the child — the most commonly thought of use for a paternity test. However, a paternity test can be used for the opposite purpose — to prove that a man is not the father, and therefore not responsible for child support payments. While some media reports spread false statistics about how high “false paternity” is—when a mother tricks a man into believing he is the father—the true rates are very low, at one to two percent, according to IFL Science. However, a paternity test will clear up any doubts.
As a potential father to a child, it is in your best interest to know for certain whether or not you are the biological dad. As a father, you have certain custodial and visitation rights, as well as child support obligations. To learn more about your legal options, call the skilled DuPage County paternity attorneys at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation.