Methods of Establishing Paternity in New York
Paternity is a legal term used to describe to a child’s fatherhood, though the term “parentage” is used interchangeably. There are three proceedings to authenticate paternity in New York:
- If the child is born to married parents, there is a legal presumption that the husband is the father. However, this presumption can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary.
- Where the parents are not married and both agree on the father’s identity, they can execute a legally binding Acknowledgement of Paternity.
- When the mother is not married and wants to establish paternity over the father’s protest, a court will determine paternity and enter the appropriate order.
When the issue of parentage is resolved through one of these methods, it confers certain rights and responsibilities for both parents.
Protecting the Interests of Unmarried Mothers
It is not easy or cheap to raise children, but food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare, and other expenses are necessary for their well-being. A mother may pursue the father for child support to contribute to these costs, but an official finding on paternity is required through one of the three methods above. When a party must go the route of litigation in court, the Ulster County Family Court will make a determination based upon DNA evidence.
Fighting for Fathers’ Rights
Many fathers want to spend time with their children, maintain a healthy relationship, and participate in important decision-making. For a father who was not married at the time of the child’s birth, it is necessary to prove paternity before being able to exercise these rights. Acknowledgement of Paternity or filing a suit in court are available options, but it is important for fathers to fully understand their obligations once parentage becomes a legally binding status.
Discuss Paternity Issues with an Ulster County Attorney
Paternity is a complex legal issue, which can be further complicated by the emotions of the parents during the process. Our lawyers at The Colwell Law Group advocate on behalf of clients in all types of parentage matters, so we can guide you through the challenging proceedings. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call 518-864-0564 or check out our website.