Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney At Law Llc

How establishing paternity helps single mothers

Paternity is about fatherhood and how fathers act in their parental role. Many people seeking paternity testing are fathers trying to build a presence in their children’s lives. However, paternity testing is also helpful for mothers.

Establishing paternity has multiple benefits depending on your role in the child’s life. For biological fathers, it allows you to establish a substantial role in your child’s life. For the mother, it will enable you to ask your child’s father to take on a more significant part in parental responsibilities.

Navigating paternity as a single mother

Most mothers agree that fathers should support their children through emotional, physical and financial needs. However, some parents try to avoid responsibility and leave all the duties on the mother. Luckily, establishing paternity in Missouri allows you to seek help from your child’s father.

There are two ways to establish legal paternity in Missouri. First, both parents sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity when the child is born. Once the document is approved, the dad is the legal father to the child. You can also do this through the Department of Health and Senior Services’ Bureau of Vital Records.

Second, you can obtain an order through the Family Support Division to legally name a man as your child’s father. If you aren’t sure of the location of the man in question, you should reach out to Child Support services for additional assistance.

Once there is legal paternity, you have the right to fight for custody, child support and visitation. It’s critical to know that it also allows the father more time with the child, so be wary of what you want to seek in court.

Your best strategy is to consider all your options and make the best decision for your child. When it comes down to it, all that matters is if the father’s support will help your child’s future.

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