On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in father’s rights on Thursday, May 28, 2020.

If you ask most individuals, they assume that women have the upper hand when seeking custody of their kids. Many think that moms tend to win primary custody of their children and that dads just get awarded visitation or at most joint custody. While this may happen in some cases, dads are increasingly becoming the primary custodial parents of their kids.

Fathers are entitled to the same parental rights, including petitioning for full or shared custody, just like moms.

Missouri courts generally prefer parents to have shared custody of the children. Judges here in St. Louis and other parts of the state look at several factors before determining how to award custody.

The court expects fathers to establish their paternity by either signing the birth certificate or through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing. Fathers should demonstrate that they regularly visit with their child and maintain a stable parental relationship with them before attempting to pursue custody.

If the child is currently living with the mother as the primary caretaker and there don’t seem to be any major issues with that arrangement, then the court may be reluctant to disrupt the existing dynamic. Fathers must generally show that their child’s life is in danger due to physical or mental abuse or that the mother is suffering from mental illness or drug abuse for a judge to reconsider custodial arrangements in such instances.

Courts generally offer the noncustodial parent generous visitation rights, however. By doing this, they ensure that both parents can participate in their child’s life.

Fathers often assume that they’ll face an uphill battle in seeking shared or full custody of their children, but times have changed and mothers no longer automatically get preference when it comes to custody. A father’s rights attorney can help you craft a strong argument for why you should be awarded custody of your child here in Missouri.