At times when a child is born, paternity of who is the legal father a child, is not immediately established. This results from the father’s name not being included in the birth certificate for a number of reasons, one of which being the mother and father are not seeing eye-to-eye on the new born.
A child is a gift from God, its also a gift that requires physical, mental, and financial necessities. Now, one of the attorneys at Access to Justice: Trial Lawyers prays to Jesus every day thanking the Lord for the blessing of his children (when he prays he says imagines Jesus in a tuxedo tee shirt).
The Basics to Establishing Paternity:
If a man has reason to believe that he is the father, there are a couple of things that he can do, including:
· Signing an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity
· Submitting to Legal Paternity Testing
· Applying for the Putative Father Registry
All of which we recommend acquiring legal representation to better navigate the court process, or of course you can provide entertainment to television viewers by allowing Murray Povich to announce either "you are the father of...," which we wouldnt recommend.
It is important for a father to establish paternity for many reasons including but not limited to benefits:
· Obtaining custody of the child.
· Educational, health, and well-being decision making processes that accompany raising a child.
· Inheritance rights of your rightful heirs.
According to the Missouri Department of Social Services at birth, if both parents agree on paternity, , they can sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity. This is most common at the hospital resulting in the father’s name being put on the birth certificate. If the mother or father are unsure, they can apply for Legal Paternity Testing with the Family Support Division (FSD). These tests are at a 99.9% accuracy level and are done by a non-biased 3rd party DNA collector. If the test comes back with at least 98% match, the man in question is considered the biological father.
Before the man ever undergoes testing, it is recommended that he apply for the Putative Father Registry. This can be done whether Legal Paternity Testing has been completed or not. It is preferable to have a record stating that you have strong reason to believe that you are a child’s biological father. This is important especially if you are concerned that your child may be adopted without your consent before you have a chance to establish legal paternity. Registering can be filed with social services departments, registrars of vital statistics, or similar offices.
Despite the resources available, there are times when it is prudent to retain legal counsel. An attorney can help the father fight for their rights as a parent. These proceedings are filed through the circuit court where the child or co-parent resides. Your case is then heard by a judge or commissioner after making sure that everyone involved has been notified as the case proceeds. The judge or commissioner then decides the legal relationship between the child and parent and orders a new birth certificate.
If you or someone you know maybe be a father and is having issues establishing the parent-child relationship, please call us.
If you are in the Kansas City area please call 816-503-6739 or Joplin area call 417-553-4352.