Commack Paternity Lawyer
Paternity disputes are fairly common here in New York. They often take one of two tracks. The first is a custodial parent who wishes to establish someone else’s paternity for purposes of collecting child support. The second is someone who wishes to establish their paternity, or lack thereof, with respect to a particular child. In the latter case, the potential father may wish to assert their own custody or visitation rights or prevent some other action being taken regarding the child, such as an adoption.
If you are involved in such a dispute it is best to work with a qualified Commack paternity lawyer who can guide you through the complicated laws on this subject. At the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan, P.C., we can help you navigate the legal system and help protect your interests in a paternity case.
Establishing Legal Fatherhood in New York
“Paternity” is the legal status of being the father to a child. A legal father has certain rights and responsibilities towards their children. For example, a father can seek visitation or custody rights and can also be required to pay child support.
When two people are married and one of them has a child, New York law assumes the husband is the father of that child. If someone else claims to be the actual father–i.e., the biological parent–they must take legal action to establish their paternity. Likewise, if the mother is not married when the child is born, any potential father must also establish paternity through the legal process. This is necessary even if the potential father is living with the mother or they plan to marry after the child is born.
There are basically two ways to establish paternity in New York. The first is for both parents–the mother and the putative father–to sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form, which must be signed and witnessed by at least two non-relatives. If either parent refuses to sign such a form, or someone else claims to be the father, they must then file a petition with the Family Court to establish paternity. A judge has the authority to order genetic testing to determine biological paternity, which in turn can be used to establish legal paternity.
Keep in mind, a child’s legal paternity does not need to be established at the time of birth. New York law permits an interested party to initiate a paternity proceeding at any point from the mother’s pregnancy up to and until the child reaches the age of 21. And there are circumstances where paternity can be established even past age 21, such as to establish a father’s back child support obligations.
Contact Attorney Joshua Adam Kittenplan Today
Establishing paternity offers a number of important legal benefits for the child and parent alike. That is why you want to make sure the law is properly followed in this area. If you need legal advice or representation from a skilled Commack paternity lawyer, contact the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan, P.C., today to schedule a free initial consultation.