Are you a mother seeking
financial support for your child from his or her biological father? Are you a father who wants to gain
parental rights to a child, and share in your child's upbringing? Paternity plays a key role
in child support and custody cases.
Paternity is primarily established in one of two ways:
- Both parties can agree on the identity of the child's father. As long
as both the mother and father agree, and are willing to sign a "Voluntary
Acknowledgement of Paternity" form, paternity will be legally established.
- Either parent can request a paternity hearing in family court. Genetic
testing will be ordered for the mother, the child and the alleged father
to establish paternity. As long as the tests indicate conclusively that
the person tested is in fact, the biological father, the court will issue
an order declaring paternity. It is at this point the father's name
can be legally added to the child's birth certificate.
Once paternity has been established, the acknowledged father will be legally
responsible for providing financial support for his child. Fathers are
usually then required to pay child support, based upon how
visitation are determined in the case. A presumed father is one who was married to
the child's mother at the time of conception or birth. In cases where
a man marries a woman after the child's birth, and his name is put
on the child's birth certificate or he agrees to provide financial
support for the child, he becomes the presumed father.
An alleged father, even if he and the child's mother are not married,
can also be required to pay child support. A stepfather is not financially
responsible for his wife's child unless he officially adopts the child.
It is important to note that while establishing paternity is often employed
for the sole purpose of obtaining child support, as soon as a man is determined
to be a child's biological father, he will have the legal right to
seek custody and visitation and participate fully in the upbringing of
Let Us Represent You
If you have questions about paternity and child support, we recommend you
speak with a
Brooklyn divorce attorney at Coffinas & Lusthaus, P.C. Our firm is focused on providing quality
legal representation to individuals seeking to resolve any number of divorce-related
issues. We have a comprehensive understanding of divorce and family law.
We have the experience and skills necessary to help you pursue a positive
resolution to any parental rights issue. Our founders have both received
AV Preeminent® Ratings from Martindale-Hubbell®. We are extremely
proud of the recognition our firm has received in being mentioned in the
New York Law Journal and
Forbes magazine's "Women Leaders in Law" sections.
To find out more about the
family law services we offer in paternity and other legal matters,
contact our firm now.