As a mother who is trying to seek child support, something that you may need to do is to ask for a paternity test. Without a paternity test, an unmarried father can claim that he is not the father of a child. In some cases, a man may not know if he is.
Paternity testing is important for the purposes of establishing a biological link to a child. Once that happens, a mother can hold the father accountable for child support. The father also obtains parental rights, and he can pursue visitation and custody.
When is the best time to ask for a DNA test?
It is possible to get a DNA test when your child is still in utero, but it’s generally a better idea to wait until your child is born. There are noninvasive prenatal paternity tests, though, which can analyze the child’s DNA before birth by looking at the mother’s blood sample. Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling can also be performed before your child’s birth, though they are invasive and have their own risks.
If you can wait until your child is born, a simple blood test or swab is all that is needed to collect a sample. The potential father should also provide a sample. Once that’s done, the lab can confirm if the man is the father of the child or if they’re related biologically.
If you would like to ask a man to take a paternity test based on the belief that he is the father of your child, your attorney can help you petition the court for the testing if he will not take the test voluntarily.