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Ludacris files petition to prove paternity

Most St. Charles fathers want to be involved in their children's upbringing. However, fathers who are not married to their children's mother can find this a challenge. Nowadays, both celebrities and everyday people alike can be faced with this same predicament.

Rapper and actor Chris Bridges, more popularly known as Ludacris, had recently filed paperwork to establish his paternity of a baby. Reportedly, a woman other than his fianceƩ conceived the rapper's child in December. In his claim, Ludacris reported that he earns about $26,000 a month. He is seeking to set child support payments at $1,754.66.

Ludacris, who, according to Forbes, was worth $12 million in 2012, has worked on several albums and is currently on an acting job for the seventh installment of the Fast and Furious series. He has a 13-year-old daughter from another woman.

Establishing fathers' rights can open an opportunity for a father to participate in his child's life. Once a man is considered the legal father, it can help him to have child custody and visitation rights. Equally important, paternity can also help a child use his or her father's last name.

Paternity is also important to a mother. Establishing paternity is not only in the best interests of the child, but also opens the possibility of collecting child support. It is practical to have the financial help of both parents in raising a child. However, calculating back child support may be difficult without legal assistance, and a parent's attempt to go it alone may result in insufficient or unfair child support.

In Missouri, a man who wants to establish or de-establish paternity must follow the legal process. However, in complex cases, proving paternity is just one of the challenges surrounding a father's rights. With all challenges, a family law attorney can provide the most thorough set of options as well as the most comprehensive information.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Ludacris is a dad again," Jennifer Brett, Jan. 2, 2013

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