The law defines Paternity as the state of being a child’s paternal parent or father. An issue of paternity, which is raised in New York Family Courts, will obviously have a significant impact on a whole range of Family Law issues, especially if your case is about settling Child Support. Any Manhattan Paternity Lawyer can tell his or her client that today DNA testing is often used in order to establish paternity, and then to enter a paternity order against a father as part of enforcing a child support payment. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC, every Manhattan Family Lawyer or Manhattan Divorce Lawyer in our offices—which are found not only in Manhattan but in each other borough, including the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island—is experienced with these cases, and also with representing fathers seeking to establish themselves as their child’s biological father in order to maintain a relationship with that child or defend themselves against an allegation of Paternity.
In all parts of New York State, including Long Island and Manhattan, the establishment of paternity usually is conducted by the Family Court system. Your Manhattan Paternity Lawyer will tell you that it can be established by acknowledgment in writing, which must be filed with the birth registrar. If paternity status is denied by either parent—by the mother or alleged father—there must be a proceeding in order to determine it. In Manhattan just as in Suffolk County or Nassau County, this paternity proceeding can be initiated by the mother or by the alleged father. Then the question of Paternity will be established via a judicial hearing. Once paternity has been determined, your Manhattan Family Lawyer knows that the courts have the authority to award child support, visitation rights, and Counsel fees.
Any Manhattan Family Lawyer today is familiar with how scientific methods have a significant impact on how paternity proceedings are conducted throughout our area, from Brooklyn to Staten Island. Advances such as DNA tests, genetic marker tests, and others—while not necessarily completely conclusive, unless they can exclude the alleged father—will be given substantial weight in Family Court. Your Manhattan Family Attorney will know that, if test results indicate a 99 percent or greater probability of paternity, a presumption of paternity will be established. This can be challenged by either party. Additionally, a Manhattan Paternity Lawyer will also advise you that, in certain instances where the court’s opinion is that the DNA test is not in the child’s best interests, undergoing the test may not be granted. This can happen, for example, the child already has an established relationship with a man he/she has known as his or her father, and that man discovers an earlier infidelity, thereby coming to suspect that he is not the father.
If you are a dad, your Manhattan Paternity Lawyer will help protect your Father’s Rights. You should understand, for example, that you are not legally presumed your child’s father anywhere in New York if you and the child’s mother are not married at the time the birth occurs. It is easy to become the legal father—you and the child’s mother just need to fill out a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form any time after the birth of the child. This can be done at the hospital, in a child support office, in Family Court, or in the office of the birth registrar, and it will establish your Father’s Rights. You will not be able to request visitation or custody if he hasn’t been established as the parent. Any Manhattan Family Lawyer also will advise you that, if the child’s mother was married but to someone else at the time of the child’s birth or during any part of the pregnancy, a father must go to court in order to establish paternity.
Whether you’re trying to secure your Father’s Rights to Visitation and/or Custody, or to secure Child Support from the father of your child, Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has the knowledge to help successfully resolve your Family Law case. From Queens to the Bronx, you can visit us for a no-cost evaluation of your case: Call 800.696.9529 now to get started and arrange to meet at any of our offices which are conveniently situated throughout the New York City area.