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Christen D. Shepherd Law Office | North Kansas City, MO facebook logo-blue twitter logo-blue box Unhappy couple and child sitting and getting upset

Trusted, aggressive lawyer

Every child has the right to be cared for by both of his or her parents. Missouri recognizes this through its laws. I have experience in protecting your interests. If you are seeking modifications of custody, need reassurance that your payments are accurately calculated, or need help taking action against your former partner,

I can help you.


According to state law, parents must provide for the supoort  of their children regardless of visitation and custody arrangements. The support payment amount is determined according to specific formulas that take into account various factors such as income, day care costs, and credit for overnight custody. We use the latest software to calculate based on diverse potential scenarios.

Trusted for child custody and visitation matters

In Missouri,  an unwed father, is not automatically entitled to legal custody of  a child even if he is on the child's birth certificate. To determine custady rights one parent must initiate a paternity suit. I am a dedicated attorney who can help you, either as the mother or father, through this process. We'll manage the process together in a discreet and cost-effective manner.


Most often, paternity suits come about as a matter regarding child support or visitation. Often clients will have a notarized affidavit of paternity. Although this establishes one parent's identity as a father, it cannot be used by either party to seek custody, visitation, or support. These issues must be addressed through a separate court order. Even though the parents may reach an agreement on custody and visitation, a court of law must issue a judgment to make it binding.

Fight to protect your rights through paternity matters

Let me explain your rights for visitation and custody of your child during a one-on-one consultation. The goal is to ensure your child is healthy, happy, and well cared for. Creating an agreement that ensures this is a big step, and it can be overwhelming.  There are 2 components to this process in Missouri.


Legal: This gives you the right to make major life decisions for your child including where he or she attends school and the type of healthcare he or she receives.


Physical: This determines with whom your child resides and spends the majority of his or her time. Physical custody is often laid out in a parenting plan.


Almost all courts operate under the presumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child. It is often beneficial for parents to settle these matters

outside of court.

Get the reliable, aggressive legal support you need

from an experienced,

dedicated attorney.

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