» 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

Missouri Supreme Court Case: Dissolution of marriage involving non-biological child should be adjudicated with a separate paternity action

Recent Decision from the Missouri Supreme Court: Overview: A mother appeals a circuit court’s judgment awarding third-party custody of a child to her stepfather in the mother and stepfather’s proceeding to dissolve their marriage. In a decision w… 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

Court must set aside child support order if requirements of paternity set-aside statute are met unless court finds and concludes that it is not in the best interests of the child to do so; General order for multiple children does not preclude compliance

Missouri law allows for a man that has been named to be the father of the child, but is not biologically the father of the child, to petition the court to terminate a child support order that is two years old or less, and, among other things, extingu… 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