Paternity Lawyers in Lee’s Summit, MO
Content Reviewed by Kristin Siegel, JD | Attorney at Law
The purpose of a paternity action is to establish legal fatherhood of a child born to unwed parties. A paternity action may be initiated by either parent of the child. A presumed father who wants to ensure that a child is his and gain access to father’s rights, or a mother who wants to verify her child’s father are the most likely candidates for paternity actions.
Paternity actions are uncontested when the parties agree on a custody arrangement, a schedule of parenting time, child support, and other important issues concerning the child. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the case may be highly contested. At our family law firm in Lees’ Summit, MO, our family law attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and experience to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
An Overview of Paternity Law in Missouri
If your child was born out of wedlock, both you and the child have important rights that must be protected. Paternity actions often include provisions for custody, parenting time, child support, and health insurance for the child. When biological paternity is at issue, a DNA test may be required. In Missouri, paternity must be tested by a government approved agency under the Family Support Division. A DNA test will be ordered for a paternity action, and it must show at least a 98% probability to establish a presumed father.
The Paternity Action Process
At our family law firm, our paternity lawyers will offer guidance through every step of the paternity action process. After a paternity action has been filed, the steps of a paternity action process typically include the following:
- Paternity Affidavit – First, after paternity is determined, an affidavit acknowledging paternity will be signed.
- Completion of Parenting Plan and Parenting Class – A parenting plan and a parenting class will be required for parents who will have custody (joint or sole) of children. The class may be different in each county, and a family law attorney at Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC can point you to the correct course following a paternity action.
- Determine Child Custody – After a paternity action in Missouri, it is likely that either the courts or Family Support Division will then determine child custody based on the wishes of the parents and the needs of the child.
- Determine Child Support – In addition to custody, child support will also be determined by the courts or Family Support Division depending on what arrangements are made by the parents. If a father is uncooperative or absent, a mother can take actions with the Child Support division to obtain an order establishing the father of the child(ren.)
As a reminder, a paternity action can be filed by either parent. At Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC, our family law attorneys and paternity lawyers can answer your paternity action questions and help you learn what your rights or responsibilities are under Missouri law.
How Can a Paternity Lawyer Assist in Paternity Actions?
In Missouri, it is strongly advised to consult a family law attorney when filing a paternity action. Paternity actions can be an expensive endeavor for fathers and/or mothers depending on what a court finds through DNA testing. The outcome of these tests can drastically alter child custody or support proceedings as the DNA evidence is established, so having a family law attorney on your side can be extremely helpful. Below are a few reasons to contact our paternity lawyers located in Lee’s Summit, MO:
- During a paternity action, our specialized paternity lawyers can advise parents on a mother’s and father’s rights and responsibilities for their child(ren.)
- Our family law attorneys can assist with paternity order paperwork, DNA testing, child support or custody arrangements, and other complex processes following a paternity judgement.
- Each parent has a duty to support their children, and our paternity lawyers will make certain that all steps of the paternity process are equitable and legal.
- As a representative for you during an uncontested or highly contested case, our family law attorneys will ensure that all proceedings follow the tenets of law and establish obligations for both parents.
Should you need help establishing paternity or advice for handling the outcome of a paternity action, our paternity lawyers at our family law firm in Lee’s Summit will fight for you and your child’s rights and help you understand what happens next.
Contact Our Family Law Firm for a Professional Paternity Action Consultation
At Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC, our paternity lawyers have assisted many clients throughout Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City metro area in establishing paternity. Each paternity case varies in complexity and our family law attorneys help with handling child support, paternity actions, and other complex situations that arise. At our family law firm, we will review your case to ensure we handle it in a timely and affordable manner. Let our paternity lawyers at Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC work for you. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.