Legal Information: Missouri


May 9, 2022

My child was conceived from rape. What happens if the offender tries to establish paternity or file for visitation?

If you report the rape to the police and criminal charges are being brought against him, the judge is supposed to automatically put a temporary stop (“stay”) to any paternity proceeding involving the child and the alleged father. This “stay” shall not be lifted until there is a final outcome of the criminal charges. If you deny visitation to the rapist/father while the criminal case is pending, this cannot be used against you in a future custody case when the judge considers which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent.1

1 MO ST § 452.374

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