Effective Legal Representation for Paternity Claims
At Raza & Jones, LLC, we provide compassionate, effective legal representation for men and women in paternity claims in St. Louis, Missouri.
Paternity matters are often emotionally-charged for all parties involved. Paternity has numerous important implications – with respect to custody, visitation, and child support – and whether you are seeking to establish or refute paternity, it is important to make sure that you fully understand the laws, processes, and procedures involved.
At Raza & Jones, LLC, we represent both men and women in paternity claims in the St. Louis, MO area. Our attorneys have more than 30 years of experience in paternity claims and other complex family law matters. We are committed to providing compassionate and practical legal representation for our clients. If you need help establishing or refuting paternity in Missouri, contact us for a confidential consultation today.
Establishing Paternity In Missouri
In Missouri, there are several situations in which a man is legally presumed to be a child’s father. These are rebuttable presumptions – meaning that they do not conclusively establish paternity – and in appropriate cases, these presumptions can be challenged in court.
If none of the presumptions apply, there are two primary methods for establishing paternity. These are: (i) by mutual consent of the mother and father in an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity, and (ii) by filing a contested paternity claim in court. In a contested claim, paternity will generally be established through genetic testing.
In some situations, spouses or former spouses may need to refute the presumption of paternity that arises when a child is born during or within 300 days after the parties’ marriage. In other situations, unmarried partners may disagree over paternal rights and responsibilities.
In these cases, either party can challenge paternity in court. While establishing paternity requires proof by a preponderance of the evidence (in other words, it simply must be more likely than not that the man is the child’s father), rebutting the presumption of paternity requires proof by clear and convincing evidence. This is a much higher standard, though it can also be satisfied through genetic testing.