For fathers to access their parental rights, they must be able to establish paternity for their child. When a couple is married, the husband is automatically presumed to be the legal father of the child. No additional action needs to be taken by the father. However, if an unmarried woman has a child, active steps must be taken by the father in order to obtain legal rights.

At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, our skilled Warren County paternity lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide range of paternity cases in New York. Regardless of the specific circumstances of your paternity action, our legal team is prepared to provide you with top-quality legal support. Whether you need to prove paternity, or disestablish paternity, we have the knowledge and experience to protect your rights.

Why Paternity Matters

If paternity has not been established, then a father will not be able to access his parental rights. Without valid legal paternity, a father cannot claim custody rights, visitation rights, child support, or any other rights that he could have as a parent.

Similarly, if paternity has not been established, mothers will not be able to hold a father to his parental responsibilities. Most notably, this means that a mother cannot hold a man legally responsible for child support unless she can establish paternity.


How to Prove Paternity in New York

Under New York state regulations, paternity can be established in one of three ways. Here, our family law attorneys provide a brief overview of each of three circumstances in which paternity might be established.

  • Marriage: The most simple path to prove paternity is through marriage. If a man is married at the time of his wife’s birth, he is the legal father of that child. If no other action is taken, that man will have full parental rights and responsibilities for the child. If, for any reason, this father seeks to disestablish paternity, he needs to act quickly to bring a legal case.
  • Voluntary Acknowledgement: For unmarried couples, paternity can be established by submitting a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. If both parents agree that the man is the father, then legal paternity can be established based on this form alone.
  • Court Order: In cases where there is a dispute, a court order may be needed to establish paternity. These are by far the most complex paternity cases. Genetic testing may be ordered by the court to resolve the dispute. Whether you are a mother trying to prove paternity when the father is resisting, or a father trying to establish your own paternity without cooperation from the mother, you should seek assistance from an experienced New York paternity lawyer.

Contact Our Warren County Paternity Attorney Today

At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, our New York paternity lawyers have extensive experience handling all aspects of these types of cases. If you need help establishing paternity, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm for your fully confidential case evaluation. We handle paternity issues throughout Warren County, including in Glens Falls, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, Queensbury, Stony Creek, Thurman, and Warrensburg.

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