Missouri residents interested in fathers' rights issues may find a current Illinois court battle interesting. The case involves a "custody" dispute over frozen pre-embryos that were created by a woman and her then-boyfriend before she began cancer treatments that would likely leave her infertile.
Many fathers in Missouri are unaware that they are not automatically granted parental rights after having a child. If you were unmarried when you became a father, it is important to establish paternity as soon as possible. At our law firm, our attorneys help fathers to establish and protect their parental rights.
Missouri citizens who wish to challenge the legal paternity of a child may choose to approach the court and petition to have the fatherhood status of the child changed. They must be willing to state their grounds for challenging the current status, produce evidence that supports their assertions, and properly go through the process of filing a complaint that states their case and proposes a remedy.
When the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock eventually marry and subsequently divorce, either of them could remarry. If the mother remarries and her new spouse wishes to adopt the child, the biological father may not have the legal right to object if he never established paternity. Missouri fathers in such predicaments could earn the right to object to the adoption under some circumstances.
When a woman gives birth to a child out of wedlock, that child does not have a legal father, even if the biological father was present at the hospital for the birth. In Missouri, however, biological fathers have the right to establish their legitimacy as legal fathers, and there are several ways they can do this.
Parents in Missouri who are unmarried or separated may not realize that both parents do not automatically possess parental rights. For fathers who are not married to the mothers of their children, it may be a challenge to attain the rights to their children. Typically, a father must first establish paternity through the state via a DNA test. Afterwards, a paternity or custody action could potentially result in the father receiving parental rights.
Missouri parents may be interested in some of the benefits of establishing paternity. Being legally recognized as a father allows a man to seek custody or visitation, among other things, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services.
Lawmakers in Missouri, Maine, Arizona, Colorado and Delaware have taken significant steps to make more gender-neutral policies regarding custody rights. Now, advocates are asking for other states to follow suit in acknowledging fathers' rights.
Reaching an agreement over the custody of a child can be a difficult process, and it is even harder if the parents live a great distance apart and both still wish to see the child. Recently, a number of American fathers have been campaigning to regain custody of children taken overseas to Japan. Negotiating child custody across international borders is a challenging matter, and the fathers have sought assistance from the U.S. and Japanese governments.
Establishing paternity rights can be difficult when a father is not married to the child’s mother. Yet paternity must be established to give the father the rights that he deserves.