When an unmarried woman is seeking child support, Florida courts often require DNA testing before the man is ordered to make payments. Due to the advances in technology, DNA testing has high accuracy rates, leaving no doubt whether or not a man is related to the child.
If a child is conceived when a mother and father are not married, a court will not automatically consider the man to be the child’s legal father. Until a DNA test has been completed, the man is referred to as the alleged father. Alleged fathers have the option of not being included on the child’s birth certificate until it has been confirmed that they are the biological fathers. Once paternity has been established, fathers may be required to pay child support but they may also be granted certain parental rights.
DNA testing is an easy process. Typically, a trained professional will collect DNA by swabbing the inside of the cheek. These swabs are painless and just as reliable as blood tests. The swabs are usually collected at certified facilities such as hospitals, health departments or medical offices. The lab ensures that the samples are handled in a specific procedure determined by the court to ensure that the results will be accepted.
Single parents often rely on child support to cover the costs of raising a child. If a paternity test confirmed that the alleged father is the biological father, the court could order him to pay child support. While many fathers do everything they can to make those payments, others try to avoid them. A child support attorney could ask the court to enforce the child support order or recover the amount owed.