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An overview of DNA testing and paternity actions

Not all children who are born in Arizona are born to a husband and wife. In fact, recent statistics have shown that the number of children who are being born outside the bounds of marriage has increased quite a bit over the last several years. When a child is born to a married husband and wife, there is a presumption that the husband is the father of the child. However, when a child is born to a couple who are not married, it may be necessary to establish the paternity of the child.

In those cases, DNA testing will likely resolve the issue of paternity. These tests, which can be conducted from a blood or other tissue sample, are highly accurate. In fact, DNA tests can oftentimes tell with 99 percent certainty whether or not a man is the father of a child.

Once paternity has been established by a DNA test, the parties can proceed with determining custody rights, visitation rights and any need to establish child support. But, it is important to note that these legal proceedings don't just start automatically. One of the parties involved must petition the court to make these determinations.

If the couple is happy together and plan to raise the child without the need for court orders, that's fine. But, even in those instances it may be wise to establish legal boundaries in the event that the relationship between the two parents doesn't work out. Sometimes the parties can draw up an agreement, which can then be ratified by a court. This will oftentimes prevent the need to go through the court process.

Post Type: TOPICAL

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Law Offices of Matthew M. Schultz
401 W. Baseline Road
Suite 203
Tempe, AZ 85283

Phone: 480-900-6032
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