There are many reasons why a man would want to prove that he is the father of a child. Chief amongst them, in many cases, is the right to parenting time with and, potentially, custody of the child. Without paternity being established, a man cannot receive the fathers' rights to which he might otherwise be entitled. Therefore, if an Ohio man thinks he is the father of a child, and he wishes to play a role in that child's life, then he should seek out ways to establish paternity.
One of the best and most concrete ways to do this is to get a DNA test. We've all seen overly dramatic talk shows where a man is either deemed the father or not the father of a child, but DNA testing is a powerful tool that has effectiveness in the real world. To establish paternity via DNA, a man simply must submit to a blood test or a mouth swab. It is important to note, though, that once paternity is established, certain rights and obligations may come into play.
But what happens if you've been caring for a child you assume to be yours, you have signed legal paperwork saying you are the father, but then a DNA tests shows that another man is the father? Under old state law, you would have been required to continue your fatherly duties, regardless of the facts. Fortunately, that has changed. This means that if a DNA test can show that you are not the father of a child, then you may be released from child support obligations.
Whether you are looking to become a part of your child's life or to avoid becoming part of the life of a child who isn't yours, DNA testing can play a pivotal role. However, there are still numerous other legal hoops that must be leapt through in order to reach a desirable outcome. Therefore, a family law attorney may be of some assistance in these matters.
Source: Ohio Bar Association, "Paternity Proceeding Establishes Parent-Child Relationship," accessed on Aug. 31, 2015