A Child Custody Lawyer Can Help Fathers Establish Paternity and Parental Rights

A Child Custody Lawyer Can Help Fathers Establish Paternity and Parental Rights

The firm assists separated parents in establishing child support during divorce proceedings. It also handles post-divorce modifications. It also helps fathers establish paternity and parental rights.

The firm serves individuals in St. Louis seeking legal counsel for custody matters. It helps couples settle child custody arrangements that take into consideration their living situation, financial capability and the needs of their children. Learn more with a Child Custody Lawyer Clayton MO.

Legal Custody

When a judge awards legal custody, the parent gains authority to make decisions related to medical care, education, schooling, religion and more. Generally, courts prefer to award parents joint legal custody.

However, in some cases, one parent may be awarded sole legal custody. This can occur if the court finds that the other parent is unfit to make decisions for the child or has been convicted of domestic violence or drug abuse.

Moreover, a judge can award shared physical custody (also known as residential custody). This means that both parents have a significant amount of time with their children.

Our St. Louis family law attorneys can help you develop a parenting plan that is best for you and your children. We can also assist you in modifying an existing custody order. However, a modification is easier when both parties agree to the change. Otherwise, the party seeking the change must prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is the day-to-day responsibility of a parent or guardian to care for a child. Generally, this includes providing a home for the child. It may be shared equally (joint physical custody) or awarded to one parent primarily, known as sole physical custody.

In many cases, a Judge will order a physical custody arrangement that allows the child to spend significant time with each parent. This can take a variety of forms, including week-on/week-off schedules, alternating weekends with one parent and then the other, summer parenting plans, and other arrangements.

The Carson Law Firm understands the complexity of custody matters. Our team is dedicated to getting you the results that matter for you and your children. Contact us today for a consultation. We will guide you through your options to create a custody arrangement that works best for you. Our fees are reasonable. We offer flexible payment plans. We also handle appeals if you lose your case in court.


A court may order visitation rights for noncustodial parents in a custody case, usually on the basis of a parenting plan the parents have agreed to or on a schedule set by the court. Generally, courts allow both parents some amount of time with their children, except in cases where domestic violence or abuse is involved, one parent has a history of drug or alcohol use, the living arrangements are unsuitable for a child or there are other issues.

The Carson Law Firm handles all types of family law matters including divorce, child support, and custody hearings. Founding attorney Leigh Joy Carson has more than 30 years of experience in divorce and child custody cases. Her knowledge allows her to help clients with parenting plans that are likely to be accepted by the judge presiding over their case. The firm also helps clients establish reasonable child support settlements. The firm’s other areas of practice include child custody modification and enforcement.


Under Missouri law, the child custody decision is based on what’s best for the child. Generally, it’s believed to be in the child’s best interests to have regular contact with both parents and to participate in making decisions about the child’s health care and other needs.

Unmarried Missouri residents who acknowledge the father of a child can sign an affidavit at the hospital after a baby is born. This makes the man legally responsible for support and gains him visitation rights.

Family Ally works to help mothers and fathers resolve child custody disputes. They may agree to a parenting arrangement outside of court through mediation or collaborative divorce. Alternatively, they may fight for their children’s best interests in court. In either case, it’s important to have an attorney with extensive experience in this area of law. The firm assists clients with establishing support agreements, as well as pursuing modification requests for existing arrangements. It also assists with domestic violence cases.

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