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Melissa A. Featherston

Fathers may assert their rights by establishing paternity

When a child is born to unmarried parents, it is not uncommon for fathers to have a difficult time asserting their rights as a biological parent. When unmarried parents have disputes regarding support and visitation, it may become necessary to establish paternity in order to obtain rightful parenting time. If fathers' rights are on the line, it is wise to seek the assistance of a lawyer who is experienced in complex family law matters.

Missouri readers will note that unmarried parents have rights the same as married parents. This means that the custodial parent has the right to seek financial support and the non custodial parent has the right to seek visitation time. A paternity action may be necessary to legally establish a visitation and support order, even if both parents are in agreement regarding the biological father of the child. 

Most paternity actions are sought because parents desire to have legally binding support and visitation arrangements. Through these actions, Missouri fathers can assert their rights more easily. Conversely, a paternity action can protect a father from paying support for a child that is not his biologically. 

There are many reasons for seeking a paternity action, including protection of parental rights and financial interests. If you believe that you could benefit from legally establishing paternity, a case evaluation can reveal which options are available to you. Custody and support matters can be complex, but you have the right to seek help from a legal team that is committed to your success and well being. You can learn more about paternity issues by visiting our family law website

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