When you are walking through the grocery checkout, it is pretty common to see a tabloid headline displaying the exploits of a dramatic family matter. Bold statements about private family matters turn these everyday occurrences into a form of entertainment, and these celebrities’ private matters are now on public display.
In reality, family matters, like paternity, child custody, and divorce, occur each and every day. The media dramatizes these occurrences, but in retrospect, they can happen in St. Louis, Missouri and be drama-free. The negative connotations are premeditated and sometimes hinder people from attempting these simple processes.
Put frankly, paternity is ultimately the process of confirming that a man is the legal father of his child. Most of the time in Missouri, this happens immediately after the child is born when the parents sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity.
Proving paternity can start with the mother, who wants the father to contribute to the family he helped create, or with the father, who doesn’t want to be shut out of that family. In more unfortunate cases, it can start after a biological father has passed and has left assets for their son or daughter.
By creating a legal connection between a father and child, the child will become a beneficiary to what he or she needs. Whether that is child support, child custody, or the simple emotional connection with their father, they reap almost all of the benefits of a paternity test.
When a family member or the state is seeking paternity, there can be a rollercoaster of tension, confusion, and relief. Paternity can open doors for your child that was locked before the big reveal. But how will the test results affect your family?
To some this matter may seem redundant, especially if the family is living together. The benefits, especially for the child, are almost immeasurable though. If a child’s parents are not married, the child doesn’t have a legal father without this paperwork. This means the child is unable to receive benefits like being on their father’s health insurance, receiving veterans benefits upon passing, and being eligible to receive their father’s social security when he dies or is disabled.
At Bardol Law Firm, LLC, we understand how creating a paternity connection can leave you to wonder if you are giving your child his or her best outcome. If you’re undertaking a paternity test or thinking about taking your case to court, be sure to have an experienced family lawyer by your side.
Paternity Affects a Child’s Future
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America—one out of every three—live in homes where their biological father is absent. Recent statistics have proven how daunting the future can look if there is not a father by their side.
Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor, according to the US Census Bureau. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.
In a recent study by the Journal of Family Psychology, children with more involved fathers experienced fewer behavioral problems and scored higher on reading achievement. That is not to say that having the biological father is the best fit for your family—each case is different and unique to your family and should be treated as such.
A paternity test can provide financial safety and emotional connection when it is needed the most.
At Bardol Law Firm, LLC, our St. Louis paternity lawyer has helped both mothers and fathers through the process of legitimation — literally, making the father a lawful part of the child’s life. Contact us for paternity answers.
Establishing Paternity is an Essential Step
Establishing paternity is crucial when a loved one is trying to receive benefits for their child. This laboratory procedure does not require any physical anguish from any party, only requiring a cotton swab from the child, the mother, and the father in question. Besides the emotional connection that paternity establishes, there are practical reasons for undergoing DNA testing:
- The father can get to know the child through either custody or visitation.
- The child can benefit from the father’s financial support.
- If the father dies, the child has a legal claim to his assets.
- Government benefits to the father such as Social Security or military pensions may be passed on to the child.
- The child deserves to know what medical proclivities the father may have passed on.
- The child is looking to change their name.
An emotional connection can be directly correlated to child custody, visitation, and even legal assets. A biological father can become a mentor to a child that is looking for support. By legally creating time between the child and the father, everlasting memories will be created.
Establishing paternity is also beneficial in Missouri when the mother has sole custody, but wants to receive child support. Many women shirk away from this idea, worried that by establishing paternity immediately means the father gets custody rights. By establishing custody, it does open that door, but more importantly, it increases the chances of receiving St. Louis, Missouri child support.
DNA Paternity Testing in St. Louis
It is important to understand which paternity test you are asking for (and taking). There are three types of tests that are typically available:
- Legally-Admissible Paternity Test: This court approved test is typically what our clients seek. This test is necessary when child support, child custody, and revisions to the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity test.
- Prenatal Paternity Test: A prenatal test may be necessary during complex cases. It has no risk for the fetus and simply requires blood from the mother and alleged father. This may be your best option if you are looking to complete your Missouri birth certificate or Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity right after your child’s birth.
- Information Only Paternity Test: This type of test is used when people only wish to confirm or deny biological responsibility, and is not looking to use the results for anything.
The DNA testing procedure is simple – however, there is a strict process for many court cases that require paternity DNA tests. It is your best option to consult with a family law attorney to ensure that you are following the legal guidelines and doing what is best for your child.
The Benefits for Your Child Will Last a Lifetime
Defining paternity can provide benefits to a child that will last a lifetime. Whether they have known their father all their life or just beginning to know them, a paternity test is just the beginning to creating invaluable resources for a child.
Imagine that your child wants to play on their Webster Grove’s t-ball league but you don’t have enough financial stability. Or maybe you’re looking at a private school in St. Louis like Ursuline Academy or Chaminade.
Imagine watching your child smile as he or she looks at their father and is excited for the weekend or holiday together. Imagine giving your child memories that you cannot create on your own.
Behind paternity tests and litigation, child support and child custody disputes, a child can get the benefits they truly deserve.
At Bardol Law Firm, LLC, we know that a paternity case is much more than taking a simple DNA test. While the test is simple and straightforward, becoming a parent is not. Regardless of what the St. Louis, Missouri paternity test accomplishes, the process will be easier with a St. Louis paternity lawyer helping you through the steps. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.