Paternity In New York

August 19, 2015

Paternity is legal concept that acknowledges that a man is the father of a child. Paternity imposes certain rights and responsibilities on the man, and can be established by three different methods in New York.

Married at Birth

If a couple is married when the child is born, the law presumes the man is the father of the child. If the couple divorces latter, the man is still the father. A blood test or DNA test would be necessary to dispute paternity in this situation. Acknowledgement of Paternity

If a child is born to an unmarried couple, but they sign a document known as an Acknowledgement of Paternity, the man will have paternity for the child.

Order of Filiation

If the mother or father begins a legal proceeding to establish paternity, the resulting court order is known as an Order of Filiation. Once granted the man gains rights to custody and visitation for the child and the women can obtain support payment from the man.

If both parties agree, an Acknowledgement of Paternity is the simplest method to establish paternity. If either party disputes the putative father, the matter will have to go in front of a judge in family court.

Disputes and Representation

If one of the parties is represented by an attorney, the other side should also have an attorney. A blood test or DNA test will be ordered for the putative father, mother and child and if the results show the man has a 95 percent chance of being the father, the New York law deems him the father.

If the man still claims he is not the father, he will have to produce evidence to convince the judge he is not. This is a very difficult, as the courts give great weight to blood and DNA tests, so it is unlikely he will be able to do this, absent very unusual circumstances.

Because this order is binding and carries with it obligations for child support, it is very important for both sides to have legal counsel, as a judge may order child support at the same time as the order of filiation.

Child support is an exceedingly serious, long-lasting responsibility; it cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, your wages and bank accounts may be garnished, unemployment insurance, tax returns and lottery winnings can be intercepted and property can be seized.

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