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Melissa A. Featherston

Sherri Shepherd must continue to pay child support

Sherri Shepherd has lost her legal battle in which she was trying to have her name removed from her child's birth certificate. This move comes as part of a long battle over child support between the Shepherd and her ex-husband, who is raising the child. Missouri readers may have read about this extensive, highly publicized legal battle.

Shepherd's 1-year-old son was born via surrogacy. The child was conceived using a donor egg, but the couple decided to end their marriage a few months into the surrogate's pregnancy. What has followed has a been a complicated legal battle over parental rights, child support and the complex legal matters that accompany surrogacy.

The legal team for Shepherd maintains that she only went through with the surrogacy process because of her ex-husband. She was not present at the birth of the child and initially refused to her have her name on the birth certificate. Litigation over child support and parental duties erupted almost immediately after the birth of the child. Due to her latest failed attempt to remove her name from the birth certificate, she will be required to continue paying child support.

Disputes over child support can be lengthy and complicated. While these payments can be arranged out of court in some cases, sometimes it becomes necessary to fight for a desired outcome in court. A threshold question, as in the Shepherd case, is whether an individual is financially responsible for a child under the law. When a child support agreement seems unattainable, it is typically beneficial for Missouri parents to each seek a legal opinion regarding options.

Source: People, "Sherri Shepherd Must Remain on Birth Certificate of Son Born Via Surrogate, Pay Child Support", Diane Herbst, Nov. 24, 2015

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