In Missouri and elsewhere throughout the nation, single fathers are often portrayed in a negative light. Obviously, generalizations of the sort are unfair, since many unmarried fathers are very dedicated and involved in the care and upbringing of their children. The courts in some states, however, still seem to make decisions that favor the rights of mothers or married couples over unwed biological fathers' rights.
Fathers in Missouri often face legal challenges regarding their personal rights to seek and obtain custody of their children. Attempting to resolve a paternity dispute without legal assistance often proves difficult and stressful for those involved. An experienced family law attorney has a clear understanding of both state and federal laws that govern such matters and would be able to offer immediate guidance in such situations.
Some families in Missouri may be among others who sometimes face legal issues that require intervention in order to be resolved. Extenuating circumstances often complicate matters and some cases wind up being presented to a state supreme court for a decision. In a recent situation outside Missouri, a father has been fighting to have his paternal rights reinstated after a trial court determined they should be terminated.
When a man or mother has doubts or suspicions that a man is the father of a child, bitter custody battles often ensue. To determine the truth, paternity tests are ordered. These tests take a close look at the biological makeup, or DNA, of both the child and the other individual. DNA is totally unique and cannot be replicated. The likelihood of paternity that is generated from the comparison is extremely accurate.
Paternity is the establishment of a child's legal father. It is important -- especially for unmarried couples -- to establish this status because in general, a child is not considered to have a father if the couple is not married. There are many reasons why you should make sure this process is undertaken, not the least of which is protecting your paternal rights.
Many people believe that fathers do not get a fair shake in court. A common perception is that courts favor mothers over fathers. In the past, this was often true. Fathers were viewed as being the primary breadwinners, rather than the primary caretakers of the children. Consequently, fathers were not always provided with the child custody arrangements they wanted and deserved. Fortunately, family courts in Missouri and Illinois have come a long way in recognizing fathers' rights. Today's court system strongly favors having both parents involved in a child's life.
According to a recent study, "Married with Children" is now more accurately a reference to the TV series than to the majority of relationships in the United States involving children. The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, shows that less than half of children under the age of 18 live in what was once considered a "traditional" household: a mom and a dad, each in their first marriage, with children born of that marriage.