Unmarried Parents Paternity And Custody Support in St. Louis
While child custody or visitation and child support are often linked to the divorce process, parents who were never married have the same rights to seek these things for their children.
When it comes to a child’s right to have the care and support of both parents, Missouri family law statutes and court cases do not distinguish between married and unmarried parents.
Cavanagh and Associates attorneys can help unmarried parents with establishing legal parent-child relationships (usually paternity), establishing an initial child custody order, establishing child support orders, modifying such orders and resolving disputes about child custody, visitation or support.
A Paternity case is a legal action to determine and declare a father-child relationship.
If the mother and father agree to the biologic facts of parentage, they may jointly submit forms to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Vital Records.
However, if there is a dispute or if one of the parents refuses to cooperate, a Paternity action filed in court may be necessary.
Establishing the parent-child relationship is required before a person who claims or who is alleged to be a parent can be granted custody or visitation rights and before support obligations can be established or enforced.
Although Paternity can be established by genetic testing, it may not be necessary in all cases.
Paternity can also be determined by agreement of the parents, including an affidavit signed by the child’s father in which he admits paternity.
Regardless of marital status of the parents, every child is entitled to the financial and emotional support of both parents.
Cavanagh and Associates has the knowledge and experience to represent mothers and fathers who have children outside of marriage.
While our duty remains always to advocate for our client, our philosophy and ethics further instruct us to guide our clients to reach a resolution which not only serves the interests of the client/parent, but more importantly, the interests and needs of their children.
If you would like to establish legal visitation rights, or believe your child deserves child support from the other parent – Cavanagh and Associates can help.