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Can a man be forced to pay support if he is not a child's father?

Child support is an important source of financial help that a non-custodial parent may pay on behalf of their children in order to allow their kids to lead good lives. In Arizona, both mothers and fathers can be compelled to pay child support if their children do not live with them. If a man acknowledges a child as his own or has his name included on the child's birth certificate, then he may be compelled to pay support.

However, cases of child support do arise in which men are erroneously forced to pay support for children that are not biologically or legally theirs. If a man is compelled to pay support for the benefit of a child that he knows is not his, he may wish to submit to DNA testing to demonstrate his lack of relationship with the youth.

Paternity testing involves comparing the genetic material, also known as "DNA," of a child with that of a man who may be the child's father. If a sufficient number of DNA markers match between the two samples, then a court may hold that the man is the child's father and therefore responsible for financially supporting the child. If, however, the tests prove that the man and child are not related, then the man may be freed from his obligation to provide support.

Child support, paternity and other family law matters can become complicated. It is often helpful for men caught in these tough situations to find help. Lawyers who advocate for fathers' rights are well-suited to provide legal guidance and support to men who are unsure of how to handle their paternity and family law claims.

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