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Establishing paternity to preserve child-custody rights

According to many researchers, children lead more stable lives when they have mature and constant fathers or father figures early in life. Still, during a child-custody dispute, many people assume that only a mother can provide the best and most nurturing environment. Establishing or certifying paternity enables the rights of a father to be exercised in custody, support and visitation issues anywhere in the country, including St. Charles County.

Paternity disputes are resolved through DNA testing. A father proven to be the biological parent of a child may fight for custody and visitation rights -- and be subject to back child support. The amount of back child support depends on the span of time fathers were unable to provide it.

A recent study revealed that approximately 15 million children now live in homes without father figures. The number of two-parent households also has declined by 1.2 million over the last decade.

When children grow up without a father, they are more likely to be involved in criminal activities. They are prone to substance abuse, leaving high school before graduating and developing behavioral disorders. Children without a father often grow up confused, angry and with low-self esteem.

With missing fathers, various factors are also considered. One factor is the rising cost of raising a child. For this, some fathers may get depressed and pressure whenever a child is born. The stress of providing financial support for the children may be difficult, especially in today's economy. Together with parenthood, recession and poverty, these may cause fathers to flee from the responsibility.

Every father, married or not, has a responsibility toward his child. This obligation may cover not only financial support but also care and love for children. Every father should consider the well-being of his child on whatever decisions he makes when it comes to parenthood.

Source: Inquisitr, "One in Three US Children Live Without a Father, Census Shows," Dec. 26, 2012

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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