» Paternity

A father holding his young child. Visual concept for a legal blog on paternity rights.

Missouri Paternity Laws: Establishing and Challenging Parentage

Under Missouri paternity law, a father has the right to spend time with his child and develop an emotional bond with them — regardless of whether they are married to the child’s mother. If the child’s mother will not recognize the father, paren… Read More
Categories: Family Law, Paternity
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Missouri Court Awards Sole Custody to Man Who Believed He Was the Child's Father and Fulfilled that Role

A parent-child relationship, defined at the most basic level, is the relationship between a person and one of the people who contributed directly to their birth. There is far more to parenting than biology, though, and Missouri family law recognizes… Read More

New Missouri custody law seeks to maximize time with each parent, takes effect August 28

Governor Jay Nixon signed House bill 1550 into law on July 1, 2016, which takes effect August 28, 2016. This law has been dubbed as an equal custody law, or 50/50 custody law, but that is not an entirely accurate description. Rather than specifically… Read More

2 year statute of limitations applies to set aside a paternity and child support order, even if fraud exists.

Mother and Father (T.B.) had a baby in 2000. Mother told T.B. he was the father, and he signed an affidavit acknowledging paternity. The Family Support Division made an administrative determination that T.B. was the legal father, and ordered T.B. to… Read More

Missouri Case Law: Dispute Resolution Procedure Required in Parenting Plan

Recent case: In Re The Matter of: C.H., by her Next Friend, C.H., and C.H., Individually, Petitioners/Respondents, v. C.W., Respondent/Appellant. Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED98749 Mother appeals from the trial court’s… Read More

Electronic Domestic Case Filing Begins in March in Jackson County

News Release from the Jackson County Circuit Court: Starting in March, there will be no more mad dashes to the courthouse by attorneys to file papers at the last minute. The Circuit Court in Jackson County will begin paperless electronic filing which… Read More

The Petitioner (or movant) in an action to set aside a previous order for paternity and child support must pay the costs of DNA testing.

Recent Case: State of Missouri (FSD) v. [Family Court Commissioner] Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD75408 State ex rel. State of Missouri, Department of Social Services, Family Support Division (“Relator”) sought a p… Read More

"Sole physical custody" award that incorporates significant parenting time to the other parent is not sole custody by definition, but joint custody instead

Recent ruling: TC A Minor Child, by and through JC, Next Friend and JC, Individually v SI Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD7455 Father appeals from a judgment entered in the Circuit Court of Clay County in an action to establish… Read More

No Presumption that Child Should Bear the Last Name of One Parent Over the Other

Recent Case: M.R.H., Respondent, vs. J.N.P., Appellant. Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED97338 J.N.P. (“Mother”), biological mother of M.R.H. (“Child”), appeals from the judgment of the trial court followi… Read More

Factors Considered by the Court when Making a Custody Determination

In Missouri, there are guidelines that the Court must follow in making a child custody determination. While all child custody determinations must be made in accordance with the best welfare and interests of the child, there is also a statutory and ca… Read More