Do you want to have a more active role in your child’s life? Is a divorce action threatening your relationship with your child? Fathers who want to be more involved in their child’s life have the legal right to seek joint or full custody of their child pursuant to the family laws of Missouri.
A dad’s right to play an active and pivotal role in his child’s life is as important to the child as it is to him. Unless there is a valid reason for denying a father the right to be an active participant in his child’s life, a child benefits from having a male parent who provides physical and emotional support for his child as well as financial support. Fathers have the legal right to be included in all decisions made with regard to their child, and those who have custody of their child have the legal right to seek child support from the mother.
Fathers’ rights exist regardless of whether he was married to the mother when the child was born, they married after the child was born, or they were never married. If paternity is an issue, there are ways to establish paternity to ensure the father’s rights are protected. It is important for a dad to understand his legal rights. If you are not being included in the important decisions that affect your child or your right to visitation with your child is being denied or limited, you are being deprived of your rights under Missouri family laws.
There was a time when the courts favored the mother in custody issues because the mother was presumed to be the parent who would provide the best care for the child. This assumption was based solely on the mother’s gender and not on any evidence of parenting skills. The family courts in Missouri now recognize that a father can be just as good of a caregiver as a mother can. This new gender-neutral approach to deciding issues related to custody and visitation is a step in the right direction. When you are denied the right to play an active role in your child’s life, it is easy to give into feelings of frustration and anger. Instead of allowing your feelings to control your response to the situation, contact my office to discuss how I can help you protect your rights.
What Issues Are Covered Under Fathers’ Rights?
Even though Missouri has adopted a gender-neutral policy toward deciding issues related to custody and visitation, there are still many biases that men must overcome. Male figures have the right to have the same loving, caring, and productive relationship with their child as female figures do. At Bardol Law Firm, LLC, you will receive the skilled, compassionate representation you need in order to address whatever issues you may be facing.
Examples of fathers’ rights issues that my firm handles include:
- A dad’s right to have sole or joint custody
- Disputes regarding child support
- Denial of visitation with the child by the mother
- Interference with visitation by the mother
- Allegations of child abuse
- Unauthorized relocations by the mother
- Paternity actions
- Denial of information regarding the child by the mother or refusal to allow the father access to information regarding his child
Missouri lawmakers realized that it was prejudicial to give moms a preference over dads when deciding issues related to child custody, visitation, and support. Current laws do not reflect any preference, which means that moms and dads have the same rights in Missouri with regard to their children. Even so, you may still face an uphill battle in court; therefore, having a skilled fathers’ rights attorney at your side will help ensure that your legal rights are protected.
The Best Interest of the Child
The overriding element used to determine custody is the best interest of the child. If the mother seeks sole custody, she must now prove that it is in the child’s best interest for the court to award the mother sole custody. The mother cannot rely on the fact that historically they were given preference in custody issues.
A child has the right to have both parents support the child financially, emotionally, and physically. Fathers’ rights laws are intended to not only protect a father’s right to be a part of his child’s life but they are also intended to protect the child’s rights and the child’s best interest. The law is designed to ensure that both parents have an equal opportunity to share in the joys and responsibilities of raising their children and that the child has full and complete access to both parents’ love, attention, and support.
Hiring an Experienced Fathers’ Rights Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri
Even though the laws in Missouri have changed how courts view custody and visitation issues, there are still biases toward mothers, especially when very young children are involved. Our society overwhelmingly believes that a young child should be with his or her mother. Whether it is fair or not, you must overcome this bias when seeking custody of your child who is very young.
You may need to aggressively fight for custody or for the right to be equally involved in your child’s life. This is why it is important to hire an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases which involve specific areas of law that have changed in the recent past. Cases are still being decided that affect how those laws are interpreted in Missouri.
At Bardol Law Firm, LLC, our main concern is your child’s best interest and your rights. We understand that you may be experiencing intense feelings of sadness and frustration as you fight for what is rightfully yours—to be a parent to your child. My goal is to ensure that your rights are protected and that you continue to play an integral role in your child’s life.
If you feel that your rights are being disregarded by the child’s mother or the court, I encourage you to contact the Bardol Law Firm, LLC in St. Louis to schedule a consultation with an experienced fathers’ rights attorney. Do not trust something as important as your future with your child to an attorney who does not have the experience necessary to best represent your interests—both inside and outside of the courtroom.