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How do I get child support if the father denies paternity?

In the state of Nevada, if the mother wants to collect child support, paternity must be proven or acknowledged. For example, if a man wants to voluntarily acknowledge paternity, then both parents must sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. It must then be notarized or witnessed and taken to the Bureau of Health Planning & Statistics Office of Vital Records. Most hospitals have this form and routinely handle the process. A man who is married to someone else can sign a VAP form.

If the alleged father will not acknowledge that he is the father, then the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services or the mother can bring a paternity action through the court to establish paternity. A hearing will be held and genetic testing will be ordered. The mother, alleged father and the child will all have a sample of cells taken. If the test shows that the man is the child’s father with a probability of 99 percent or more, then the court will rule that the man is the father. The testing can also exclude a man from being the biological father.

Establishing paternity is important, and not just because of the financial support. The father will have a right to a parent-child relationship, including visitation. A complete medical history can be made available, which is important to the child’s health and medical care. Finally, the child has a right to benefits such as Social Security, inheritance rights, insurance benefits, veterans benefits and more.

If you want to receive child support benefits but the man who you believe is the father refuses to acknowledge paternity, you will need to use the court to establish paternity. An experienced family law attorney can provide advice and guidance as your child support case moves through the legal system.

Source: Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, “What Every Parent Should Know About Establishing Paternity,” accessed June 13, 2016

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