Long Island Divorce & Family Law Firm Established in 1976
Paternity

Long Island Paternity Lawyer

Paternity establishment refers to determining a child's biological father. Under paternity law, fathers are provided with legally enforced rights and responsibilities. If unmarried parents bear a child, that child does not have a legal father. For reasons such as these, paternity tests can be beneficial to parents and children alike. Oftentimes, paternity issues arise during conflicts related to child custody, child support, and divorce. However, once a man is legally identified as a child's father, he must take responsibility for the needs and well-being of his child.

This might entail some or all of the following responsibilities:

  • Financial responsibilities
  • Moral responsibilities
  • Visitation responsibilities
  • And more

Establishing paternity is important in various situations. For mothers assuming the role of primary custody, these mothers may need financial help to provide their children with healthy and productive living standards. By establishing paternity, a mother may receive help from the father of the child. For fathers, it may be important to establish paternity in order to help those fathers receive visitation rights. Without legal paternity determination, a father can be denied visitation rights in order to protect the child’s well-being and safety.

Establishing Paternity in New York

To establish paternity means to identify the biological father of a child, legally declare fatherhood, and accept a number of responsibilities and rights. Although paternity can be established in a number of ways, the legal options vary on a state-to-state basis.

When parents are married, the name of the father listed on the birth certificate is presumed to be the father without any further testing. Unmarried parents need to go through a more complex process to establish paternity.

In New York, paternity can be established in one of three ways:

  • If a man and woman are married, it is presumed that the husband is the father of any child conceived throughout the duration of the marriage. This position may be challenged in family court.
  • A man and woman may sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form, which identifies the man as the father of the child.
  • Paternity can be established through the issuance of a court order. By issuing a court order, involved parties generally must submit to a DNA test to establish paternity of the child in question unless a finding of paternity is consented to by all parties. People generally seek out a court order when the identity of the father is uncertain.

Acknowledgment of Paternity

In addition, when two people are unwed and they conceive a child together, they may sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. This form identifies the man as the biological father of the child. It may be completed after the mother gives birth in the hospital, or the form may be completed at a later date at the Department of Social Services. Once the Acknowledgement of Paternity form is completed, the father's name will be listed on the child's birth certificate, and the father will have parental rights.

How Paternity Relates to Fathers' Rights

In some cases, a man may believe he is the father of a child, but the mother will deny this claim or prohibit the alleged father from seeing his child. In these cases, it is in the man's best interest to hire one of our family law lawyers in Great Neck. We can inform the client of his rights, request a paternity court order, and represent the client during any legal proceedings regarding child custody and child support.

How Does Paternity Affect My Visitation Custody, and Support Rights?

When a child is born outside of a marriage, the father must sign an “acknowledgement of paternity” form to declare his responsibility to his child and to avoid determining paternity in court in the future. Without acknowledging paternity, he will forfeit his right to seek custody or visitation of the child. Additionally, mothers will not be able to receive support payments without establishing paternity.

What Rights Do Children Have Regarding Paternity?

Children have the right to know who their parents are, and fathers, like mothers, have a responsibility to care for and support their children. Whether parents are married or not, this responsibility still stands.

Establishing paternity allows the child to receive child support, Veteran’s or Social Security benefits on behalf of their father if he is disabled or dies, and a share of the father’s estate. Additionally, it can provide the child with more complete knowledge of their family’s medical history and can ensure they receive proper medical treatment and preventive care.

Consult Our Paternity Lawyers in Long Island, New York

Our extraordinary team of lawyers is well-known for prioritizing the needs of our clients by delivering successful and cost-effective results. Depend on our 150 years of collective experience and our noteworthy track record of success to see you through this difficult time. Our mission is to make a positive difference in our clients’ lives by offering exceptional legal services and customized strategies. Contact Wisselman, Harounian & Associates if you’re interested in pursuing legal action.

Discuss your legal options by contacting our Long Island paternity lawyers for a first consultation today. We are passionate about protecting the rights of all family members.

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