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Melissa A. Featherston

Missouri child custody case: former soldier asking for custody

Child custody cases are often a trying time for all parties that are involved in a dispute over who should be raising children on a full-time basis. They are also cases that the media seems to love to publish. A recent child custody case in Missouri involving a former soldier has drawn nationwide attention.

This case has created sparks nationally because the mother of the child was 14 years old at the time of conception and the former soldier was 19 years old. The child's grandparents have filed for an adoption of their grandchild while the father has requested visitation rights. The grandparents also want the biological father's rights terminated because of the age of their daughter at the time she became pregnant. The case will now be presented before a judge.

The case was first heard before a military court, at which time he was exonerated on the criminal charge of statutory rape involving the mother. He was, however, discharged with a less than honorable discharge because of a drug charge. The mother has said she doesn't want child support from the man or any further contact with him. The mother did not feel the military court system handled the case appropriately.

Any Missouri parent or grandparent involved in a child custody case could benefit from having an understanding of the applicable laws. With all of the factors that can come into play during the process, it is important a person knows their rights and the applicable procedures for enforcing them. Maintaining good records of events that have taken place during the process can also be useful during a trial should the case be presented in court. Although this can be a stressful time, parents can take comfort in knowing there is help available should it be needed, and there is more than one avenue that can be taken to achieve a positive outcome.

Source: kmov.com, "Man seeks custody of child he fathered with 14-year-old Missouri girl," June 18, 2013

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