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Disputing paternity requires a trial

| May 25, 2018 | Paternity |

If a husband and wife are married at the time of the child’s conception and birth in Missouri, it is natural for the father to assume that he is the biological father. The mother and father typically both put their names on the birth certificate at the time of birth, which makes the man the father in the eyes of the law. In the event that circumstances come to light indicating that someone else is the biological father, the current putative father may want to dispute paternity so that the biological father may become the legal father, instead.

DNA evidence makes determining the true biological father of a child much simpler. However, the putative father must still take certain steps, or he will continue to be the father in the eyes of the law, retaining all the rights and responsibilities toward the child. The Missouri Department of Social Services notes that the mother and her husband must fill out and file a form known as the Husband’s Denial of Paternity.

According to the Missouri Courts, a judge may order at a pre-trial hearing that both men take a genetic test so that the evidence can be presented at the trial. The judge reviews the case and then issues a decision, and then one of the parties in the case is typically asked to fill out the Child Custody and Support Judgment, which is then signed by the judge. When this form is sent to the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records, a new birth certificate is prepared per the judge’s order. This may include a new last name for the child, in addition to the names of the mother and the newly declared legal father.