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How is paternity established in Missouri?

Supporting and caring for a child in St. Charles requires a lot of work and is best done with the involvement of both parents. If you find yourself, as a mother, struggling to accomplish this task and/or wanting to involve your current partner or your child's biological father more in his or her upbringing, then establishing a legal link between said party and your child is a must. Yet how is paternity established in Missouri? 

Most hear the word "paternity" as associate it with paternity testing. Indeed, DNA testing is available if you need to prove your child's parentage. According to The Missouri Department of Social Services, all that is required to complete such a test is a simple swab of DNA from you, your child and his or her presumed father. If the results of this test show a 98 percent probability that the presumed father is indeed your child's biological father, then he or she is presumed to be the father by law. Interestingly, however, the results of such a test alone are not enough to establish paternity. 

To meet the legal standard of paternity, either a court order must be obtained that names your child's father, or an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity must be submitted. When submitting an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity, both you and the one to be designated your child's legal father must sign it. This can be either your child's biological father or your current partner (even if he has no biological relation to your child). If your current partner (that is not your child's biological father) chooses to do this, he should understand that by doing so, he assumes all of the responsibility associated with being your child's legal father (including an obligation to pay child support should the two of you separate). 

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St. Charles, MO 63301

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