Unlike the child’s mother, unmarried fathers have to establish their parental rights. As experienced paternity attorneys, we have helped many fathers in St. Louis protect their right to play an active role in their children’s life.
Experienced Paternity Attorneys Serving St. Louis
If you are a father living ins St. Louis, Missouri, you need an experienced paternity attorney in St. Louis before you can fight for custody or establish a visitation schedule
If paternity is disputed, either the mother or potential father can request for a paternity test to be executed. Once the motion for paternity is filed the other parent will be required to consent to the testing.
After the parent and child complete the initial phase of the paternity test, the samples will be sent to a lab where the results are determined.
The Testing Process
DNA testing and establishing paternity may sound like a daunting task. Following the guidance of an experienced paternity attorney can provide you with peace of mind and reassurance during this trying process.
A DNA test may bring to mind thoughts of needles and blood being drawn. However, modern DNA testing is much simpler and less invasive.
For their part, the father and child only have to worry about having a cotton swab rubbed on the inside of their cheek. Rubbing a swab on the inside of the cheek causes skin cells together on the swab. The skin cells are then used in DNA analysis.
After the Test
Even the most experienced paternity attorneys cannot help their clients establish custody or create a visitation schedule until the paternity test is complete.
St. Louis fathers filing for child support need to understand what the court takes into consideration when making a ruling.
- The wages of both parents will be considered.
- The court will consider the amount of time each child spends with the father.
- The number of children the father will be supporting is also taken into account.
It is the father’s responsibility to provide proof in these three areas.
Parents may also be required to pay for other expenses including medical costs, costs for schooling and education, and even childcare.
Custody and Visitation
Fathers may also want to turn to an experienced paternity attorney to establish a custody agreement and visitation schedule.
It is typically in the child’s best interest if both parents share in custody. A divorce or parents not being wed should not eliminate a father’s rights.
However, fathers need to remember their rights are not automatically put into place when the child is born. They may need to consult with a father’s rights attorney.
If a father is not able to establish custody they will most certainly want to obtain a visitation schedule.
Visitation is typically defined in the custody agreement.
In addition to spending regular time with his children, visitation should allow fathers to attend school activities, special events, and obtain important medical or financial records.
Navigating the journey to establishing paternity and father’s rights can be difficult.
Kathleen Shaul is an experienced paternity attorney. For over two decades she has been practicing family law and helping fathers preserve and protect their rights