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Clayton Family Law Attorney – Establishing Paternity Of A Child

As a Clayton family law attorney, I often see clients who haven’t established the paternity of a child in their life and they have a situation where they need to do so. In order to set up custody arrangements, visitation arrangements or child support, paternity must be established.

In Missouri, paternity is presumed in a few instances. For example, if a child’s natural mother and a man are married or have been married and a child is born either during or within 300 days after the marriage ends, the man is presumed to be the father. Paternity is also presumed if a man is obliged to pay child support, has been named the father on the birth certificate or he otherwise recorded his paternity and filed it with the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records. A Clayton family law attorney can help in this process should you need to determine paternity for a child.

In the instance the mother or father is unsure who the father is, genetic testing can be performed to either confirm or rule out the father’s paternity. In the instance that the mother or father disagree on the paternity of a child, the matter may be taken to a judge to decide. A guardian or parent may bring a paternity case to court until a child is 18. A child can bring a case to court until he or she turns 21.

Establishing paternity affords children born out of wedlock the same support any child born within a marriage receives. When paternity is established, a child may receive certain rights and benefits such as being placed on his or her father’s health insurance or inheriting an estate should the father pass away. In the case a father does not try to acknowledge his paternity, he could lose custody rights and visitation rights with the child. If you need to determine the paternity of a child, it may be important to discuss what steps you can take with a Clayton family law attorney. Call today for a free, initial consultation.

Contact Us

Jeffrey A. Heater
Attorney at Law

5205 Hampton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63109

Phone: (314) 541-7421

Fax: (314) 932-7672


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