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The first step is to ensure legal paternity has been established. The child’s mother can initiate a paternity action against the alleged father to set legal paternity. If the alleged father refuses to acknowledge paternity, the courts will often request for him to complete genetic (DNA) testing.


The alleged father can legally refuse to complete the testing. However, he will face consequences. For example, a judge can hold him in contempt of court, require him to pay fines, or enter a default judgment stating he is the legal father.

Once paternity is determined, both parents have legal rights and responsibilities regarding the child, including financial obligations, visitation, and custody.

A father that refuses to acknowledge a legally established paternity is still responsible for the child, including any required child support.

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