St. Louis Child Custody Lawyer

Florissant Visitation Attorney

Your Child Custody Advocate

Issues involving custody of a child or children are one of the most emotional aspects of family law, whether in the context of a divorce or a paternity action. Assistance from an experienced lawyer can help you focus on a productive approach.

Contact us at the office of JoAnn C. Donovan, Attorney at Law, to schedule a free initial consultation with attorney JoAnn C. Donovan, who will use her over 25 years of legal experience to give you quality counsel and representation on child custody and visitation issues. We also handle modifications and relocations, if a child custody order needs to be altered to suit a family’s changed circumstances.

Concentrating on the Child’s Needs

A child custody and visitation dispute can be costly in more ways than one. It can be difficult to prove the facts the court needs to make its decision, and the process can take its toll on family relationships. For this reason, it is important to clarify your goals at the beginning of the process.

The legal standard for the child custody and visitation decision is the best interests of the child. If your case goes to trial, each side’s arguments to the judge must be based on the child’s interests.

Motives such as punishing the other parent or gaining an advantage in another aspect of the divorce process should not play a part in decisions about child custody. Child custody decisions must be focused on the child’s best interests.

We will help you propose a custody plan that provides the child with care and support from both parents and that serves the child’s best interests. Of course, if no agreement is reached, we are fully prepared to protect your children by taking your case to trial.

Including Multiple Perspectives

In more difficult child custody cases, it is not unusual to involve outside experts such as psychologists who can testify as to which arrangement would be in the best interests of the child.

The court may also appoint a guardian ad litem, an attorney who is responsible for representing the best interests of the child, as opposed to either parent.

Contact a St. Louis Child Custody Attorney

Let attorney JoAnn C. Donovan help you navigate your complex child custody and visitation issues. Contact us to get skilled legal help with child custody and visitation in St. Louis County and St. Charles County.



St. Louis Paternity Attorney

St. Charles DNA Test Lawyer

Children of unmarried parents have a right to have both parents involved in their lives, just as the children of married parents do. There are legal steps both parents can take to ensure that these rights are fulfilled.

Missouri family lawyer JoAnn C. Donovan has been representing clients in paternity and related matters for more than 25 years. Contact us to schedule a free, completely confidential initial consultation. We help clients, both mothers and fathers, deal with all aspects of paternity cases.

Winning Visitation and Custody Rights

These days, it is common for the father of a child — when he is not married to the mother — to acknowledge paternity at the time of birth. Simply taking this action does not, however, automatically give the father custody and visitation rights.

When the father of a child has acknowledged paternity, he can seek child visitation and custody rights from the court. Only after a family court order has been issued can the father’s visitation and/or custody rights be enforced.

If there is no father listed on the child’s birth certificate, then the father must ask the court to determine paternity before establishing custody and visitation rights.

Obtaining Child Support

A child has a legal right to support from both parents, whether or not they were ever married. If your child is not currently receiving child support, you have a right to seek it.

If the paternity of your child is not acknowledged on the birth certificate, you will need to get a paternity judgment before you can use the state of Missouri’s child support collection system.

Contact a St. Louis Paternity Lawyer Today

At JoAnn C. Donovan Attorney at Law, we have represented many St. Louis County and St. Charles County clients in paternity and related cases. Contact us to get skilled legal help to protect your children and your relationship with them.