Kingston Paternity Lawyers Helping with Child Custody in the Hudson Valley
At Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, we handle a full range of family law matters, including child custody and child support cases involving questions of paternity. With offices in Kingston and Marlboro, we’re conveniently located to represent clients throughout the Hudson Valley, and with us, you can be confident you’re trusting your case to one of the most respected and established law firms in the area. Read on for more information about establishing paternity in New York.
Establishing Paternity in New York
Establishing paternity is the process of determining a child’s legal father. Of course, every child has a biological father; however, under New York law, a child born to unmarried parents has no legal father, which means the biological father has no rights or responsibilities to the child. In order for the biological father to be deemed the legal father, the parents must establish the paternity of the child.
There are two ways for unmarried parents to establish paternity in New York:
- Signing a voluntary form called an Acknowledgement of Paternity
- Filing a court petition to have the court determine paternity
If there is any doubt about the identity of the biological father, you should not sign a voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. Rather, you should petition the court to determine paternity. The court will order mother, father, and child to submit to certain genetic tests, and based on the results, the court will determine whether the alleged father is the biological and legal father of the child.
Recognizing the Importance of Establishing Legal Paternity
By establishing paternity, you are ensuring your child has the same rights and benefits as children born to married parents. Along with legal rights, your child will receive the emotional and financial benefits of establishing paternity, including:
- Reassurance that you cared enough to acknowledge paternity
- Having the father’s name on his or her birth certificate
- Medical or life insurance from both parents (if available)
- Information about family medical history
- Financial support from both parents, including social security, veterans benefits, inheritance rights, and child support
As a mother or father, you also receive several benefits from establishing paternity. Mothers get shared parental responsibility, information about the father’s medical history, and improved financial security. Fathers get legal establishment of their parental rights, the right to seek custody and visitation, and the right to be informed and have a say in adoption proceedings.
Contact Us for Help with Paternity
If you need help establishing paternity in New York, please contact Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP to schedule a consultation. We can help you determine the best course of action in your case.