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Establishing paternity with DNA testing

For some parents in El Paso, DNA testing might be necessary to establish paternity. This may be important for a mother who wants to get child support. Some high-profile paternity cases include those of Mick Jagger and of Apple founder Steve Jobs. In both cases, once paternity was established, the fathers paid support and eventually had relationships with their children as well.

Paternity testing may be necessary because if parents are unmarried at the time of a child's birth, the father is not automatically listed on the birth certificate. He may be referred to as the "alleged father" until it is legally established that he is the father of the child.

A cheek or mouth swab should be sufficient for paternity testing. It is noninvasive and has almost the same accuracy as a blood test at more than 99 percent. The sample must be taken at a hospital, health department, medical office or other certified facility. It is then handled carefully to ensure accuracy including a "chain of custody" to keep the results secure. This chain of custody is necessary for a court to accept the results. The sample is usually tested twice to help ensure accuracy of results.

Once paternity is established, just as would be the case in a divorce, the father may want to share custody of the child or get visitation rights. Establishing paternity may also be important so the child can inherit from the father. Child support in Texas is calculated based on factors such as the noncustodial parent's income and the cost of the child's health insurance. If the income of the noncustodial parent changes, the parent may need to apply for a child support modification.

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Kubinski & Nichols, P.C.
10514 Montwood Dr.
El Paso, TX 79935

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