In the state of Missouri, paternity is generally established in hospitals shortly after children are born. Unmarried parents do this by voluntarily declaring paternity in documents known as Affidavits Acknowledging Paternity. When these forms have been properly completed and signed, paternity is established and the father's name is placed on the child's birth certificate. The mother's name is placed on the birth certificate even if no Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity is completed.
When parents go their separate ways, it is safe to say they still want what is best for their children. While many children in the state of Missouri are raised in the home of the primary caregiver, it does not mean the other parent has no rights. Unfortunately, many fathers believe they are not treated fairly in child custody decisions. Sometimes this is not the case, but all too often it is entirely true. The good news is that courts in Missouri and elsewhere are coming to understand how important it is for a child to have two active parents in their lives.
With a divorce where the couple has children, some of the more contentious issues of the proceeding may involve the custody of the children. For many years, the custody matters have followed the current of American society, with women taking the role of caregiver to the children, and often being awarded custody.