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Protecting the Rights of Children and Fathers

Having a child does not automatically give a father parental rights if he is not married to the mother. Establishing paternity is necessary in order to give rights to the father or to the children.

At the Law Office of Barbara Graham, LLC, I represent individuals wishing to establish paternity. If you would like more information on how to protect your rights as well as your child's rights, please contact an experienced paternity lawyer at 314-226-1428.

Rights of the Child

Children have the right to be supported by their parents whether the parents are married, divorced or have never been married. Establishing paternity can be very beneficial to a child. It allows a child born to unmarried parents to have the same benefits as a child with married parents, including:

  • Knowledge of the identity of both parents
  • Benefits from the father's medical, dental or life insurance
  • Family medical history is known to give to health professionals
  • The father's name on the birth certificate
  • Financial support (child support, Social Security, veteran benefits or other allowances)

Rights of the Father

Under Missouri law, a father is not automatically entitled to many rights unless paternity is first established. Although the state of Missouri can establish paternity for child support purposes, this does not give parental rights to the father. These rights can be given to the father through a paternity or custody action. If paternity is established, the father will have legal parental rights, including the right to:

  • Seek a court order for visitation rights
  • Request a change or modification in custody
  • Request child support if he has custody of the child
  • Assist in important legal decisions regarding the child

My firm is very skilled representing individuals in paternity actions. If you want to be entitled to parental rights or would like your child to have added rights and benefits, I can assist you. Contact a Missouri fathers' rights and children's rights lawyer by calling the Law Office of Barbara Graham at 314-226-1428 or by completing the contact form.