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How Is Paternity Established?

If the father and mother were not married at the time of the child`s birth, an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity or a court order naming the legal father establishes paternity. The alleged father may voluntarily admit that he is the father of the child. This can be done through the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Program of Arkansas that is offered at all birthing centers in Arkansas, all Child Support Enforcement Offices, and Vital Records Offices. In cases where he does not admit paternity, a court hearing and/or paternity tests can be scheduled. Paternity tests examine the genetic markers of the mother, alleged father and the child. The paternity tests will indicate the likelihood of paternity or exclude the alleged father. The alleged father must pay for the costs of the tests. If the alleged father is excluded, the custodial parent (CP) may be required to pay for the tests.

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