Earlier in the week we brought you a follow up to the story of an Atlanta teenager who believed his father to be basketball legend Michael Jordan. While it is not entirely clear why the boy’s mother would like about her child’s father and file a paternity lawsuit after she knew the father was not Jordan, a judge through the lawsuit out. Today, we are going to look at the other side of paternity: child support.

There are an increasing number of women in Georgia who are choosing to have children without the children’s fathers around. Sometimes it is not always a conscious decision, but, regardless, single mothers should receive some assistance from the father. Child support is a crucial tool to ensure that children are taken care of. The only obstacle a single mother may have is proving that someone is the father.

The most common method of doing so is with a paternity test. By testing herself, her child and the man believed to be the father, a woman is able to know whether someone is or is not her child’s father. And, if he is, he can also be forced to pay child support.

Although there are some people who question child support, there is a very real need for these benefits. The money is meant to help a child and to prevent a mother from having to care for herself and her child on one salary alone.

While paternity tests can be an important tool in getting child support, they must be used carefully, as some people in the family law industry have seen relationships destroyed by paternity tests.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Paternity testing hits the streets,” Alison Knezevick, Aug. 8, 2013