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Experienced Paternity Action Attorneys

Paternity is the legal process through which a father/child relationship is established. Married men will have paternity established at a child's birth. Unmarried fathers must have court-established paternity. Paternity actions can also establish orders of child custody, parenting plans, and child support.

If you are a father or mother who wants to establish paternity, the attorneys at Ahearn Kershman, LLC can help. Our Clayton law firm guides parents in Missouri through the entire paternity process.

Paternity issues can arise in many types of family law cases, including:

  • Child support: Unmarried parents can be ordered to pay child support in a paternity action.
  • Parenting plans: A father must first establish paternity to obtain a court-ordered parenting plan.
  • Adoption: A father who has established paternity must give his consent to relinquish his parental rights to an adoptive parent.
  • Inheritance: While a father without established paternity can leave their property to a child with a will or trust, establishing paternity protects the child's right to inheritance.
  • Health care: Paternity also allows a father to include their child on a health insurance policy.

DNA Testing And Paternity

An action to establish paternity is a civil proceeding. Once there is a presumption of paternity, Missouri requires “clear and convincing evidence” to challenge that presumption. Either parent may request DNA testing as part of the paternity process, but it is not mandatory. DNA testing works by testing the child, mother, and father, then comparing the results.

Passionate Lawyers For Paternity Actions

Our attorneys can represent you in a paternity proceeding and advocate for your best outcome throughout your case. We will help manage the stress of the proceeding and be your zealous courtroom representation.

Call our law firm at (314) 373-7135 or email us at [email protected] to schedule your case evaluation.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


Ahearn Kershman LLC is a Clayton based law firm serving clients throughout St. Louis County, St. Louis City, and St. Charles County.

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