In Missouri, if a couple is married at the time that their child is born, the husband automatically goes onto the birth certificate as the child’s father and he immediately has parental rights. This gives him the right to make decisions for and about the child.
However, if the couple is not married when their child is born, even if the father is listed on the child’s birth certificate, he does NOT have parental rights to the child. Paternity can be established by both parents consenting to and signing an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity.
If the prospective parents can’t agree to sign the affidavit, the child and each of them will take part in a court approved paternity test Kansas City MO.
If the lab results show at least 98% probability of the man being the child’s biological father, an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity must be signed by both parents. Once paternity judgment is granted, the fathers name will be added to the birth certificate and he can make decisions for and have equal access to the child.
Although the court approved paternity test Kansas City MO defines DNA of the child, it doesn’t automatically decide custody, visitation or child support. The court will need to be petitioned for these and the judge will make a decision based on the child’s best interest. Usually, the mother will have custody of the child unless the father can prove that she is unfit.
Missouri has a set of “best interests of the child” standards:
- the child’s preference
- the child’s relationship with each parent
- each parent’s ability to care for the child
- whether each parent is willing to allow the child to maintain contact with the other parent
- the mental and physical health of each parent, as well as the child
- the child’s performance in school and adjustment to home life
- whether either parent plans to relocate the child
If the prospective parents decide that they don’t want to wait for the birth of the child to decide paternity, there are Certainty Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Tests. With this test, paternity can be established as early as seven weeks into the pregnancy. A blood sample is taken from the mother and a cheek swab from the prospective father, then with exclusive technology, the lab is able to develop a DNA profile of the fetus and compare it to the DNA profile of the possible father.
On the flip-side, a previous declaration of paternity can be overturned by a DNA test and petition for non-paternity. The petition must be filed within two years of the original judgment of paternity.
Can A Paternity Test Be Refused?
If a prospective father receives a court order for a paternity test and ignores it, he can be held in contempt. At that point, he will face a fine and possible jail time.
However, if the mother receives an order from the judge for a paternity test and refuses it, she can be held in contempt unless she has a logical reason to deny the request. The judge will take her reasons into consideration as long as its done in a timely manner.
Who has more rights, a mother or father?
A Missouri family law judge doesn’t give preference to the mother or father when making decisions regarding child custody, visitation or child support.
Who’s last name does the child take?
The baby doesn’t have to take the last name of either parent.