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Paternity disputes can be some of the most difficult family law cases. Paternity law involves the rights and obligations of the father after a child is born. Paternity cases typically involve DNA testing to determine whether a particular man is the father.
Paternity issues can arise in the context of child custody and visitation and child support disputes. It is the law of the State of Missouri that both parents are financially responsible for the expense of raising their child. Raising a child can be very expensive. Even if the father is not involved in the child's or the mother's life, he may be obligated to pay costs associated with the child, including medical expenses, health insurance, birth costs, prenatal care, and child support.
Unfortunately for unmarried parents, this can lead to a dispute over who has the obligation to pay for the expenses associated with the child. Many paternity cases involve mothers seeking to collect child support, or fathers seeking to challenge paternity and child support obligations. Other paternity cases arise when a father seeks to establish paternity and assert his rights to visitation and custody after a child is born. Paternity issues also arise in the context of a mother who is applying for state aid in Missouri. The state may send out orders for genetic testing to determine the child's father, and whether that father has the financial resources to support the child.
Whether you are a mother seeking to protect yourself and your child, or a father interested in asserting your rights, it is important to consult with an experienced St. Louis family law attorney before you pursue your case. If you have any questions, or if you would like to speak with an experienced St. Louis, Missouri family law attorney regarding your paternity issue, please call us at (314)726-6464.
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