The parent and child relationship extends equally to every child and every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents. An action for the establishment of the parent child relationship is brought when the parents were not married to each other. It is often called a paternity action.

PaternityA paternity action may be brought by: the child; the natural mother; a man presumed to be the father of the child because of an attempted marriage, or because he placed his name of the child’s birth certificate, or because he has completed DNA testing; a man alleging himself to be a father; any other person who has actual physical or legal custody of a child for a period of more than sixty days; or the State through the Family Support Division.

In a paternity action, the issues to be decided are: who is the father of the child, child custody, and child support.

Today, DNA testing through the court makes the decision of “who is the father of the child” easy to establish. If you have engaged in DNA testing already, you may have to test again through a court approved agency.

If a father is not already listed on the child’s birth certificate, a paternity action will result in the father’s name being placed on the child’s birth certificate.

If it turns out you are NOT the father, but you listed your name on the birth certificate, you will need to file an action for non-paternity in order to remove your name from the birth certificate and eliminate any legal obligation you have toward that child.

Unlike a dissolution of marriage action, the court records related to paternity action are sealed and confidential.

Often, a father will also request a change to the child’s last name in a paternity action. The determination for a change of a child’s name is based upon the best interest of the child and will include consideration of, among other things, the child’s age, whether the child knows her name, and the child’s wishes.

To make an appointment, please call us at 816-256-5440.

We are available to help you with your family law or estate planning needs in the following Missouri counties: Buchanan and Andrew.

Kiske & Foster Law Office, LLC
10525 N. Ambassador Dr.
Ste. 208
Kansas City, MO 64153
Phone: 816-256-5440
Fax: 816-298-8855

Kiske & Foster Law Office, LLC
1911 Jules St.
St. Joseph, MO 64501
Phone: 816-256-5440
Fax: 816-298-8855
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Office hours: Monday-Thursday 9 am – 5 pm and Friday 9 am – 12 pm

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