Courts in different states are getting better about making child support and child custody laws more uniform, but there are still differences from state to state. Any parent in Missouri looking to establish child custody rights or establish or modify a support order should meet with a Missouri attorney to explore the available options. Every case is different, and that means bringing your case to court should involve an in-depth look at your particular situation.
It was a little more than a year ago that we about the importance of a DNA paternity test to determine who the father of a then-newborn was. The mother was claiming that father was famed pop star Justin Bieber, a claim the 18-year-old adamantly denied. After the scandal broke, Bieber also took to the talk show "The View" to insist he had taken a DNA paternity test to prove he was not the father.
Fathers incorrectly assume that if their name is on a child's birth certificate, their rights as a parent are automatically established. However, this could not be farther from the truth. In fact, without first properly establishing paternity, a father could end up actually finding himself in a tricky situation where he must pay child support, but still has no visitation schedule or decision-making rights as a parent.
When a couple has a baby and gets married, most people just assume the husband is also the father of the child. In some cases, finding out about the pregnancy is even a driving force between why two people get married. This same paternity assumption also goes on if the couple separates or divorces and can play a role in determining things like child support and child custody.
With more and more children being born to unmarried parents there has been an increase in the demand for paternity tests. In fact, this demand has been so high that in one city there is even a mobile clinic that offers DNA paternity testing on the spot. With a prescription from a doctor and roughly $299 -- depending on the service -- a person can stop up at the 28-foot recreational vehicle and submit a sample. About three to five days later the results are in.
It's certainly disturbing to even think about, but the truth remains that there are some women who will attempt to claim that someone is the father of their child in order to receive child support. And while this can happen to anyone -- regardless of fame or not -- a recent paternity test taken by Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz was a prime example of how some people will make false allegations regarding fatherhood.
A Court of Appeals recently ruled that a teen around the age of 16 will not learn who his biological father is until he is 18 years old. As of now, the teenager believes that the man who raised him, and is married to his mother, is his biological father. But, the truth is that he was conceived when his mother was having on ongoing affair, and highlights the importance for a father to ask for a paternity test early on.
Establishing who the father is of a child is important not only for that child, but also for matters concerns child custody, visitation, child support and father's rights. And, it turns out that going into the New Year, many men plan on wanting to know once and for all if they are indeed the father of a child -- or even children -- through a paternity test.