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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

Judge gets creative in criminal child support case

When a person in Missouri has a child, he or she has many obligations to that child. One of these obligations is financial support, which helps to maintain the child's emotional and physical well-being. A person who fails to fulfil their financial obligation for the benefit of their child can face serious consequences. In some cases, a person can end up facing criminal charges related to missing court-ordered child support payments. For example, in one recent out-of-state case, a man was ordered not to have any more children as part of his probation.

The man pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to failure to pay approximately $100,000 in child support to his four children. In Jan. 2013, a judge ordered that he could not have any more children as part of his probation. If he pays what he is owed, the order will be lifted. A similar ruling by a different judge was overruled in 2004 because it did not include a provision to lift the procreation order.

Child custody litigation filed by father of Fantasia's son

Missouri fans of "American Idol" may remember the winner of the third season, Fantasia Barrino, who is now an R&B singer.  She has a daughter who is now 13 years old.  Recently, the girl's biological father filed child custody litigation.

Barrino and her daughter's father were a couple in high school.  He was reportedly abusive toward the singer and even pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges.  Now, he is asking the court for sole legal and physical custody of Barrino's daughter.  He claims that he could raise their child better than Barrino. 

Son billed by state for child support owed by deceased father

One of the most important jobs in life is parenting one's children. Whether one is the custodial, hands-on parent or the one who provides care through court-ordered child support, both parties are invaluable to the child. There are situations, however, where the support payments are not made in a timely fashion. There may be families in Missouri that are struggling to pay or receive these monies.

Recently, an adult child received an unexpected letter in the mail from the officials in his state. The letter contained a bill in the amount of $83,000 in back support that his father had allegedly never paid. Along with the bill was a notice that a lien had been placed on his property to help satisfy the debt.

How to establish paternity in Missouri

Under Missouri law, if two unmarried people have a child, the biological father is not automatically considered to be the child's legal father. In order for that to happen, paternity must be established. When a man becomes the legal father of his child, he is entitled to custody or visitation, and the child is entitled to financial support, health insurance and other benefits from the father. 

When the child is born, both parents may sign and submit an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity. This is considered the easiest method of ensuring the biological father is legally recognized as the baby's father. Of course, this method requires both the man and the woman to agree that he is the father.

14 parents arrested in recent child support sweep

Paying court-ordered child support is an important thing for parents to keep up on. Not only does paying child support ensure that one's children are adequately being taken care of financially, it can also help to avoid serious legal problems in Missouri or in any other state. This is the message one county government decided to send in a recent sweep operation aimed at parents who were behind on their child support payments.

The county sheriff's department recently conducted a sweep operation in mid-September. The sweep, which had taken place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., was aimed at 45 individuals who currently had outstanding warrants for not paying their child support. The sheriff's department arrested 14 people during the operation. Also, approximately $7,000 had been collected during the sweep.

Man loses medical license over child support arrearage

There are likely as many parenting styles in Missouri as there are parents. Regardless of the approach that a parent may take to raise his or her children, it is important that every parent take responsibility for the emotional and physical well-being of their children. This includes making court-ordered child support payments when applicable. In addition to the potential harm to the child, there can be serious consequences for failing to make such payments, including the loss of professional licenses, as one out-of-state man has recently learned.

Court records indicate that the man's former wife has taken him to court several times over the course of the last nine years, in an attempt to hold him accountable for the missing payments. He reportedly owes over $100,000 in payments. The state has recently taken drastic measures to attempt to force him to pay.

Protecting the child custody rights of divorced parents

In past times, child custody was almost always granted to the mother in the event of a divorce. Now that divorce is more prevalent in a progressive society, it is only natural that child custody arrangements should change as well. It is now more common to have arrangements that preserve the best interests of the children, with shared custody and joint parenting plans.

There is plenty of evidence validating the claim that cooperative parenting is better for the children. Missouri parents can work together to draft a parenting plan outlining education plans, religious preferences and other details that are important to the individual situation. Despite the benefit of a co-parenting plan, a family law judge still has the right and ability to veto these plans.

The latest in Jason Patric's fathers' rights case

Missouri readers may have followed the highly publicized case involving the famous actor Jason Patric and fathers' rights. There has been wide interest in this case because the actor is battling the mother of his baby over custody and visitation with the couple's 4-year-old son. The fathers' rights case is especially complex because their young son was born after he provided sperm for the mother at a time when they were not together as a couple.

The couple was not married at the time that the boy was born, but Mr. Patric is the biological father of the child. Since he was born, the couple has broken up again and become embattled in disagreements over his rights as a father for a child born out-of-wedlock. The ruling in this case could set a precedent for other couples in non-traditional families, including parents who are not married.

Collaborative divorce: easing tensions over child custody

The tension of determining child custody can make the divorce process complicated and difficult for all parties. While this is not possible for every situation, Missouri couples may find that collaborative divorce can be a beneficial way to come to amicable solutions. Collaborative divorce can also be a method by which couples determine child custody agreements and more.

Collaborative divorce is a divorce in which a couple benefits from the services of several parties. This can include attorneys, financial advisors, divorce coaches and child specialists. This team offers practical and emotional support during a difficult time, helping a couple make the most beneficial decisions after careful consideration.

Military duties and child custody battles

Military personnel are often deployed for months or years at a time, which can make child custody battles complicated. Even when they are not deployed, training exercises can last for days or weeks and require travel. Military men and women have certain rights granted to them during a divorce and/or child custody battle, which should protect their interests in case of deployment or travel assignments.

Missouri readers may be interested in a case from another state involving a sailor embroiled in a child custody battle with his ex-wife. A judge threatened to imprison the sailor after he failed to show up for a custody hearing. However, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is intended to grant extra time in such situations for those who may be deployed and unable to attend hearings.

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