In Missouri, when a child is born outside of marriage, a paternity action can establish the legal father-child relationship. All parent-child relationships carry rights as well as obligations. Paternity attorney Kathleen Shaul works with men and women on both sides of paternity disputes to help them protect their children’s rights.
If you are the child’s mother and are not married to the father of your child, we can represent you in a paternity action to establish fatherhood and help you obtain the child support your child is entitled to. Likewise, if you are the father and want to establish your parental rights, we can work to prove paternity and help you obtain custody and visitation rights.
If you would like to establish paternity through the legal process, contact us at 314-499-1476 to schedule an initial consultation.
Establishing proof of paternity in Missouri can be accomplished when you sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity at the hospital. Forms may also be acquired at the Missouri Family Support Division, Child Support Enforcement Office. If the father does not admit paternity in this manner, fatherhood can be established in an administrative hearing or by the Department of Children and Family (D.C.F.E.). A father has no parental rights or obligations until he has been declared the father.
If you are not sure you are the child’s father, you have the right to dispute paternity. If you are the child’s mother and want help proving the paternity of your child, you have choices about how to legally pursue that issue.
Genetic DNA Testing
If a man denies he is the father of the child, he may request a DNA genetic parentage test. With the advent of genetic testing, establishing proof of fatherhood has become relatively simple and can be accomplished with either a blood sample or cheek swab. However, both parents have legal rights regarding the administration of paternity testing and the responsibilities that follow proof of paternity.
For help protecting your legal rights in paternity disputes, call 314-499-1476 or contact The Law Offices of Kathleen E. Shaul to arrange for a consultation and evaluation of your case.