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Paternity Establishment


A child support order cannot be established for a child who is born to unmarried parents until:

  • The alleged father acknowledges paternity by signing the Affidavit of Parentage in the hospital, at the child support agency or at the Clerk of Court’s office.

  • Legal action is filed with the court when the alleged father does not voluntarily acknowledge paternity. A formal Complaint is served on the alleged father. A court hearing is held and the court makes a determination of paternity.

Genetic testing is recommended if there are any doubts about the paternity of a child. The potential father may be tested to determine whether or not he is the biological father of a child. Genetic testing is highly accurate in determining the paternity of a child. A swab is taken from inside the cheek of the mother, alleged father and child, and then sent to a Laboratory for testing.


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