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A “Paternity Action” is the legal mechanism through which never married parents navigate child custody, child visitation, and child support. Like many states Missouri has adopted the Uniform Parentage Act For more specific information on child custody, visitation, and child support, see our child custody section.

A major issue is paternity cases with whether paternity (fatherhood) has been established. While maternity (motherhood) is assumed, where the parents were not married at the time the child was born paternity (fatherhood) must be established. Evidence of paternity includes marrying the child’s mother, filing an affidavit with the heath bureau, consenting to be named as the father on the child’s birth certificate, paying voluntary or court ordered child support, and by DNA test.