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Missouri v. Illinois: Paternity

By: Attorney Shira Truitt


Paternity refers to the legal relationship between a father and his child. Determining paternity is important for a number of reasons, including establishing the rights and responsibilities of the father towards the child, and determining the child's entitlement to financial support and inheritance.

In Illinois and Missouri, there are several ways in which paternity can be determined. These include:

  1. Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity: In both Illinois and Missouri, a man can voluntarily acknowledge paternity by signing a legal document acknowledging that he is the father of the child. This can be done at the hospital at the time of the child's birth, or at a later date through the appropriate government agency or family court.

  2. Genetic testing: In both Illinois and Missouri, paternity can be established through genetic testing, also known as DNA testing. Genetic testing involves comparing the DNA of the alleged father and the child to determine the probability of paternity.

  3. Court order: If the alleged father does not voluntarily acknowledge paternity or agree to genetic testing, the court can order paternity testing as part of a paternity lawsuit. In Illinois and Missouri, a paternity lawsuit can be brought by the mother, the alleged father, or the child.

There are a few differences in the laws regarding paternity determination in Illinois and Missouri. In Illinois, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if he was married to the mother at the time of the child's conception or birth. In Missouri, a man is not presumed to be the father of a child unless he has legally acknowledged paternity or has been ordered by the court to pay child support.

In Illinois, a man who has voluntarily acknowledged paternity or has been ordered by the court to pay child support is generally considered to be the legal father of the child. In Missouri, a man who has voluntarily acknowledged paternity or has been ordered by the court to pay child support is generally considered to be the legal father of the child, but he may be able to challenge paternity if he can provide clear and convincing evidence that he is not the biological father of the child.

Additionally, key differences exist regarding the ability to rebut paternity in Illinois and Missouri. In Illinois, a man who has voluntarily acknowledged paternity or has been ordered by the court to pay child support may be able to challenge paternity if he can provide clear and convincing evidence that he is not the biological father of the child. However, once a man has been legally determined to be the father of a child, it is generally difficult to rebut paternity in Illinois.

In Missouri, a man who has voluntarily acknowledged paternity or has been ordered by the court to pay child support may also be able to challenge paternity if he can provide clear and convincing evidence that he is not the biological father of the child. However, unlike in Illinois, there is a specific time frame in which a man may challenge paternity in Missouri. Under Missouri law, a man has three months from the date of the paternity judgment to challenge paternity. If he does not challenge paternity within this time frame, he may be barred from doing so in the future.

In conclusion, there are a few differences in the laws regarding paternity determination in Illinois and Missouri. Both states allow for paternity to be established through voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, genetic testing, and court order, but there are some differences in the specific legal presumptions and procedures that apply in each state.

References:

If you need legal advice or a lawyer in Illinois or Missouri, please contact The Truitt Law Firm, LLC for assistance. For more information on The Truitt Law Firm, LLC or to schedule an appointment, please go to www.thetruittlawfirm.com.



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