Guiding Families Through the Challenges of Family Law, One Step at A Time
O’Fallon Paternity Lawyer
We Offer Exceptional Legal Services to Families in St. Charles County
In Missouri, there is a firm legal distinction between a “biological father” and a parent who has enforceable rights to their child. Even though a biological father contributed genetically to the birth of a child, paternity can only be established through marriage, adoption, or a court order. For instance, paternity isn’t automatically established if a child is born out of wedlock or is the result of an affair. Fortunately, both the mother and the biological father can request genetic testing and file a paternity case.
This can be an incredibly challenging process, especially if the other parent is hesitant or outright opposed to the idea. For this reason, it’s important to speak with a qualified attorney from Winghaven Law, LLC as soon as possible. Our O’Fallon paternity lawyer has a comprehensive understanding of the numerous laws and regulations that can impact the outcome of your case.
When you work with our firm, you can take comfort in knowing that your case is in capable hands. Our legal team can help you accurately complete and file the necessary forms, negotiate with your child’s other parent, and, if necessary, represent your interests in court.
Establishing paternity is extremely important because it provides many emotional and financial benefits to the father, mother, and child. When a biological father successfully establishes paternity, he can legally request child custody and visitation rights, giving him an opportunity to develop a relationship with his child. The child’s other parent can’t deny the father’s rights once paternity has been established, unless there are mitigating circumstances recognized by the court.
Likewise, it’s incredibly difficult for a single parent to raise a child without a co-parent’s economic support. Once paternity is established, the child’s father can share in the responsibilities of parenthood and provide child support payments. If needs must, the child can also be placed on the father’s health insurance policy.
Paternity can be established both “voluntarily” and “involuntarily” depending on the relationship between the child’s parents.
If both parents agree about the identity of the child’s father, they can take the following steps to ensure his paternity is confirmed:
- Both parents can sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity when the baby is born at the hospital
- The parents can complete the affidavit after contacting the Family Support Division (FSD) the Department of Health and Senior Services’ Bureau of Vital Records
- Secure an order that states the biological parent is also the legal father through the Family Support Division (FSD)
However, if one parent disagrees about the identity of the child’s father, paternity will need to be established involuntarily through court action and free genetic testing. Either parent can also take the case to court by filing a paternity case in the circuit court in the county where the child lives.
Protect Your Paternal Rights
There are many unique factors and unexpected contingencies that can affect the outcome of your paternity case. Contact Winghaven Law, LLC if you’re ready to fight for your legal parental rights. Our trial-tested attorney has the skills and resources to guide you through each step of this complex legal process.
We are proud to provide informed legal guidance and exceptional services to families in Lake St. Louis, St. Peters, Wentzville, Weldon Spring, Foristell, and New Melle. Contact Winghaven Law, LLC today to schedule a case evaluation.
"Wendy is a founding member of Winghaven Law, LLC. and she is committed to your case. Her distinct background of training and experience sets her apart from most attorneys. As a former prosecutor, Ms. Corley has substantial trial and courtroom experience. She understands that preparation, diligence and superior knowledge of the law are vital to obtain a successful outcome from a judge or jury. While litigation skills and experience are essential, Ms. Corley more importantly understands the value and necessity of evaluating each and every case to determine the most efficient and cost-effective manner of resolution possible for the client."
About Our Firm
At Winghaven Law, LLC, we specialize in handling complex family law cases, including divorce, child custody disputes, and support orders, and our experienced team is dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring that your future is protected at every stage of your case, providing you with personalized, diligent legal assistance during this challenging time.
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