St. Louis Paternity Attorneys
“Paternity” refers to the process of establishing legal rights to children born outside of marriage. Many people do not realize that parents of children born outside of marriage do not have the same rights of custody as parents of children born during marriage. In Missouri and Illinois, as in most states, when a child is born outside of marriage, without taking appropriate legal measures, a mother in this situation has no ability to make the father of her child pay child support, and the father has no ability to make the mother of his child provide custodial access.
Paternity issues usually arise in three situations: when a mother wants the presumed father of her child to help financially support the child; when a putative father wants to have legal and physical custody rights to his child; and when a father under an administrative duty of child support, perhaps because the mother did no more than list his name on the birth certificate, wants to challenge his status as the father of the child.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. can help.
Both mothers and fathers have time issues to consider, as the law places time limits to claim all financial support dating not only to the time of birth but also for pregnancy related expenses, and also on the time to challenge parentage. Only an experienced attorney can advise you as to the applicability of these time limits to your particular case.
If parentage becomes a disputed issue, the court will likely require DNA testing to establish whether a putative father is in fact the natural father of the child or children at issue.
Once a party files a paternity action, that party can seek an order of financial support alone, or also orders with regard to legal and physical custody. Judgments with regard to custody and support in a paternity case follow the same standards used to make those decisions in a dissolution of marriage action.
Family Law Attorneys in St. Louis
As you can see from the issues to resolve, the process is not just a short set of simple, self-executing rules, but involves many complex and often difficult questions of proof. Only a skilled and experienced attorney can properly advise you as to your rights with regard to paternity, custody and support and protect those rights in a legal proceeding.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we have over fifty years of combined experience handling family law matters. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues, including paternity, custody and support. We have handled hundreds of trials before family court judges; if you choose The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C., you will have the benefit of a divorce attorney unafraid to go to court, advocate on your behalf and fully present your case.
Time to Act
Time is of the essence. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to insure the best possible outcome.
Contact The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C.
Send us an email or call us at 314-993-6300 for an initial consultation with one of our experienced St. Louis family law attorneys.