Legal Question in Family Law in Missouri

parental rights

My son had a one night stand with a young lady, now there is a child. The girl gave him the choice of signing away his rights to the child, but he doesnt want that. She has made herself hard to reach and to talk to(distant). She doesnt want the child to have his last name, expects no child support, or any help at all. He is trying to help and is happy to have a daughter, my wife is excited also. There was no paternity test done, yet. Also how is child support figured when there was no court order, is it figured on a % of income or a worksheet or something. thank you for your time

Asked on 3/10/06, 11:27 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jeffrey Carey Carey Law Firm, LLC

Re: parental rights

As the father of the child he has the right to visitation and to be actively involved in the child's life. Paternity will have to be established through the courts. Child support will then be ordered based on the relative income of the parents and the expenses of raising the child. There is no reason he should not be able to get an order for reasonable visitation so that he can be involved in his child's life. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss in more detail. You did mention that she (the mother) was "distant." The paternity action will generally need to be filed in the state and county where the child currently resides. You will need to determine this information when choosing where to file.

Jeff Carey

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Answered on 3/10/06, 2:42 pm
Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

Re: parental rights

From the facts you list, it would appear that your son has no legal rights whatsoever concerning this child. However, if the mother receives any state aid, your son will be contacted by the Family Services people who will make an administrative determination of paternity in order to enter a child support order, and then that order will be docketed with the Circuit Court. They can not give your son, or his parents, any rights concerning the child. Apparently, if your son or anyone else in your family want the right to see this child and have a relationship with this child, then he should file a lasuit seeking a judicial determination of paternity. The DNA test can be done by consent or pursuant to a Court Order at that time. Also, the Judge can and will Order rights of visitation and temporary custody. If you or your wife want to have Court Ordered rights, you can intervene in the paternity suit under the grandparent's rights statutes. The child support obligation is calculated based upon a formula and a chart developed under the direction of the Supreme Court. In a nutshell, it gives you a basic child support obligation figure based upon the combined gross monthly incomes of the parents, and after certain adjustments (such as the cost of day care, the cost of health insurance coverage for the child, and so forth), that basic figure as adjusted is pro-rated between the parents according to their incomes. BTW, your son can ask, but he has no legal right to require the baby's last name to be his. Traditionally this has been up to the Mother. I hope that this response has been informative. If you would like a telephone consultation, you may call me at the office anytime. I have handled hundreds of such matters. Good luck.

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Answered on 3/11/06, 12:39 am

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