Kansas City Paternity Test Lawyer
The Rights and Obligations of Being a Parent
Establishing paternity can create a relationship where none existed before. Paternity issues are common in child support and custody cases. You may also need to determine paternity to give your child access to insurance and other benefits. It’s an issue that affects the child, as well as everyone involved with caring for the child.
In addition to the legal issues, you should also consider the emotional impact on the child. What is the nature of the parent-child relationship that currently exists? How will you maintain the integrity of that relationship while including other parents? At Larry Swall of Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond P.A., we understand these issues. If you need help determining or disputing paternity, please call our Liberty, Missouri, office at 866-554-4664.
There are no parental rights for unwed fathers until paternity is determined. If a mother has a child out of wedlock, the father may be required to pay child support if a court determines that he is the father. But the father still may not have rights to parenting time with his child. He then has the right to ask a court to establish parenting time and visitation with his child and may even seek residential custody.
In Missouri, an unwed father can sign an affidavit of paternity when the baby is born to establish a legal determination of paternity. This needs to be done before he can be named as the father on the birth certificate. However, this affidavit does not provide for custody, visitation or child support — a court order must be filed as a result of mediation or a paternity suit.
In Kansas, unmarried parents of an infant can acknowledge the father’s paternity and have his name put on the birth certificate at the hospital. If papers are not signed at this time, the parents may go to court to have the father’s name added to the birth certificate. An unmarried father may also sign a voluntary agreement establishing paternity that is filed with the court.
Filing a Paternity Suit
To declare that a man is the father of a child, a lawsuit called a paternity action is filed by the state child support enforcement agency, or by the unwed mother or father. Usually, but not always, DNA (genetic) testing is used to prove paternity. However an action is started it is important to address all of the issues associated with being a parent, custody, parenting time and support, before the case is completed. Our attorneys have cutting-edge experience in working with never-married parents to establish solid, health relationships with children and help make sure that both parents are working toward the common goal of what is best for their child.
If you have been wrongly named as the father, you can file a non-paternity lawsuit or even an action to undo a previously entered order.
Contact Us for Help
It’s important to hire a lawyer who is knowledgeable about paternity. Attorney Larry Swall has substantial experience with paternity cases, even working on Missouri paternity legislation in 2009. Call 866-554-4664 or send an e-mail today. We work with people in the Kansas City area.