Part of making sure that you get the appropriate amount of time with your children is being able to prove paternity. As a man, it’s not as simple as just saying that you’re a child’s father, because there is no physical way to know without a DNA test. Though you can voluntarily accept your role, if you’re unsure, then a DNA test is one test that you should ask for early on in your child’s life.

If you have never proven that you’re the father of your child and are not married to the mother, your parental rights may not be affirmed. It’s important for you to consider seeking a DNA test, because doing so will allow you to claim your right to see your child and seek custody. Unmarried fathers don’t automatically have custody rights, so it’s up to you to make sure you seek those rights and confirm that you’re the biological father of your child.

When you’re ready to set up a custody schedule or seek custody rights, make sure you get a DNA test

Before you go to court and ask to modify custody arrangements you already have or seek custody with the support of a judge, it’s a smart choice to get your DNA test results. Doing so will help prevent you from seeking custody of a child who isn’t yours or provide you with protection against child support claims.

What happens if you pay support and have custody but find out you’re not the father?

If the results come back that you are not the father and you’ve been paying support or set up a custody schedule, you may want to have the court modify or eliminate those requirements. Doing so is tougher when you’re already obligated, so it’s wiser to talk to your attorney before you agree to pay support or set up a custody schedule.

It’s not always easy to know what to do in complex custody cases, but your attorney is there to help. The right support does make a difference in these cases.