When DCS refers a paternity case to the Family Support Section, we are responsible for establishing parentage (i.e., who the father is), obtaining a judgment for back child support, establishing a current monthly child support amount, and facilitating the entry of a residential schedule or parenting plan for the child.
We usually resolve the issue of paternity through DNA testing. Our office arranges the taking of DNA samples from the mother, alleged father, and child by swabbing the inside of their mouths. These samples are then sent to a lab for testing. The results establish conclusively whether or not a man is the biological father of a child.
After parentage is established, our office gathers financial and child custody/visitation information from both the mother and father. Based on this information, we propose current and back child support obligations using the state child support guidelines and a residential schedule for the child. Our child support proposal will consider health insurance provisions and day care costs for the child.
In most cases, we are able to reach agreement with the mother and father on most major issues in the case. The judge decides the unresolved issues at the final hearing.