Establishing paternity could be in a child’s best interest

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

After paternity is established in Missouri, a child’s legal father is typically required to pay child support. However, there are other benefits to establishing paternity that go beyond obtaining financial compensation each month. For instance, a child could be entitled to inherit a father’s property or to receive death or other monetary benefits if the father passes on. In many cases, these rights could be forfeited if there is no legal connection between a man and his child.

In addition, a child gets access to his or her father’s medical history after paternity has been established. This could be key in helping a minor overcome an illness or make it possible to take proactive steps to improve his or her health. An individual can either establish paternity voluntarily or be compelled to take a DNA test. If that person does not take the test, he may be considered a child’s father by default.

Those who wish to voluntarily be known as a child’s father can fill out an affidavit of paternity form. This form can be submitted at any time before a son or daughter turns 18. If the father is present for the child’s birth, it can be filled out and submitted when the child is born. By acknowledging paternity, a father will likely be allowed on a son or daughter’s birth certificate.

Working with family lawyers in Missouri may help parents learn more about their rights as defined by state law. This might make it easier for a mother who believes that she knows who her son or daughter’s father is to compel that person to take a DNA test. It may also help a man who believes that he is a baby’s father prove that this is the case.

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