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How helpful are paternity tests during custody disputes?

When child custody disputes arise, parents in Arizona may have to take additional steps to sort them out. If a mother contends that a man is the father of a child or a man is seeking to gain fathers' rights by asserting that he is the father of a child, DNA testing will be necessary if the parties disagree as to the man's fatherhood of the child.

How helpful are paternity tests during custody disputes? A paternity test is considered to be a highly accurate test that uses a blood or tissue sample of the father or alleged father and the mother and child. The accuracy of these tests ranges between 90 to 99 percent, and a paternity test has the ability to exclude a man that is not the biological father while also showing the likelihood of paternity if the man in question is not excluded.

DNA tests are more effective than blood tests, which only compare the blood type of those involved. A DNA test looks at genetic information. A paternity test can reveal patterns between the child and alleged father. If two or more DNA probes do not match when a child's DNA is compared with the alleged father, than the father could be ruled out.

Whether a paternity test is conducted through a blood sample or a cheek swab sample, this test is considered to be resourceful when a paternity dispute occurs. This could help a father pursue his rights to a child or prove that he is not a father he is currently paying child support for.

No matter what initiates a paternity issue, it is important to note that there are steps to resolve these matters. A paternity test is an effective way to prove paternity; however, it is just the first step to establishing fathers' rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Paternity Tests: Blood Tests and DNA," accessed May 6, 2017

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