If you are a father of a child in Schenectady and you want to ensure that you have full parental rights over that child, including the right to make decisions about the child’s life or/and petition the court for custody in the event of a separation or divorce, you must establish paternity. Establishing paternity is the process of establishing legal parentage, and can be done in one of three ways in New York–
Establishing Paternity in Schenectady County
There are three ways that paternity is established in Schenectady County, New York. These are:
- At the time of the child’s birth if the mother and father are married (paternity is automatically established);
- By signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form (typically signed at the time of the child’s birth in the hospital; must be signed by both the father and the child’s mother); or
- Order of filtration – an order of filtration is a court order by which the court declares a father to be the legal parent of a child.
Clearly, the first two situations – automatically establishing paternity at the time of the child’s birth through marriage, or signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity if parents are unmarried – are the easiest ways to establish paternity. If you are a father of a child who has not yet established paternity, however, our Schenectady County paternity lawyers can assist you in navigating the family law system.