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Paternity: a child needs both parents

Traditionally, the ideal household includes a father, a mother and a child, but times have changed. Single parents now run many American households, including those in St. Charles, Missouri. In many of those homes, a single mother acts as the custodial parent of the child and the provider for the family.

However, a single mother may have difficulties raising the child on her own. Without the other spouse, a single mother assumes the responsibility of the father to earn and support the needs of the child. Being a single parent has emotional, financial and physical challenges. Time can be very limited when it comes to looking after the child and earning an income to support all of their needs. The mother has to wear many hats from parenting the child to working to managing the household, which can be very stressful. This, in turn, can limit the amount of attention that should be focused on raising the child.

Single parenting can be the result of divorce, where the legal ties between the father and the child are already established. In this arrangement, it is easier to settle the parenting and support obligations of the father. In the case of an unwed father, it is more challenging. Establishing paternity requires a more complex legal action. In either case, whether divorced or unwed, the father plays a crucial role in the development of his child.

The child's father should put the best interests of the child at the top of the priority list when settling fathers' rights. Being acknowledged as the child's father is very important. However, the real incentive after doing so is the likelihood of the child to have support from both parents. The father can share child custody and provide child support to ease the financial burden. This can also give the mother ample time for work and time to take care of everything else.

Source: The Eastern Echo, "Children need both," Olivia Jackson, Oct. 16, 2013

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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