Westchester County Paternity Lawyer
When an unmarried woman has a child, a paternity action may be needed to determine who has legal right rights to visitation and custody and who has legal responsibility for child support. When fathership is legally established, a child has the right to support from both parents. If you seek to establish your own or another person’s paternity, or if you need to prove that you or another person is not a biological father, it can be a difficult legal procedure. In New York, you want the trustworthy advice and counsel of an experienced Westchester County paternity attorney with Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC. If you expect to be dealing with any paternity-related matter, as part of a divorce or for some other reason, don’t wait to make the call.
ESTABLISHING PATERNITY IN NEW YORK
When a married man and woman have a child, the law makes the assumption that the husband is the father of the child. When a child is born outside of wedlock, no assumption about the child’s fathership is made and it must be established if a man wants to legally be known as the child’s father. If a couple would like to establish paternity in this situation, the couple will need to file an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. This documentation is provided in the hospital at the time of the baby’s birth.
The form is filled out and signed in front of a notary. Signing this form waives your right to any DNA testing in the future if you ever doubt who the father of the child is. Having this form legally filed will also impact child custody in the future if the couple ever parts ways. An Acknowledgement of Paternity form will also have an effect on inheritance, child support, and more. When couples are divorced, a father who has established paternity has “fathers rights,” which are essential to custody arrangements.
For these reasons, it is important that every couple who is considering filing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form first speak to an experienced Westchester County fathership lawyer for legal assistance and advice.
However, the form is completely voluntary. If the mother or father would like to establish who the father of the child is in the absence of the form, either party can ask for a court to determine it through a DNA test. Today’s DNA tests are highly accurate and often used in these very situations to establish fathership in the state of New York. However, it is essential that you work with a Westchester County fathership lawyer if you plan on asking for a DNA test, or another party has petitioned the court to demand a DNA test.
HOW DOES EACH PARTY BENEFIT FROM ESTABLISHED PATERNITY?
All parties involved, including the mother, father and child, receive benefits from a legally established paternity. The child receives reassurance that the parents cared enough for him or her to go through the process of establishing paternity. The child will also be able to receive financial support from both parents in the form of social security, veterans benefits, inheritance rights and child support, but only if paternity is established. When a father is legally named, the child can also be added to his life insurance or medical insurance plan, which is another benefit of going through this process. The child will also be able to take care of himself or herself now that he or she is aware of the father’s medical history.
The mother, on the other hand, has the benefit of shared parental responsibility, so the task of raising a child does not fall only on her shoulders. The mother will also have improved financial security since two parents will now be responsible for paying for the child’s expenses. If the mother does not have medical insurance, fathership allows the mother to add her child to the father’s medical insurance, if his allows it.
The father also receives benefits from establishing paternity in the state of New York. Not only does he have the joy of legally being a father now, but he will also have the right to seek child custody and visitation in court. Once paternity is established, the father has the right to be informed and input his own decision if the mother decides to put the child up for adoption.
For all of these reasons, the legal establishment of fathership benefits all parties involved. If you are currently dealing with a paternity issue, whether you are the father or the mother, speak to an experienced Westchester County paternity lawyer as soon as possible to begin assessing your situation and fighting for your rights.
HELP WITH YOUR PATERNITY CASE
Whether or not a man is a biological father has significant legal ramifications for his rights relating to child support, child custody, and visitation. Establishing paternity may be necessary to obtain child support, to be released from supporting a child who isn’t yours, to obtain visitation rights, or to secure a parental health history for the child’s medical needs. Establishing paternity can be emotionally charged, so in any paternity case, be sure that you work alongside an experienced Peekskill family law attorney who routinely handles New York paternity actions. Advances in technology (like artificial insemination) and in law (like same-sex parenting) are making paternity cases more difficult than in the past, but the Westchester County paternity attorneys at Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC diligently stay abreast of developments to provide clients with reliable advice and knowledgeable legal representation.
DON’T WAIT TO CALL
Contact Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC as quickly as possible for a free initial consultation if you need to establish (or disestablish) paternity. With offices in Peekskill and Poughkeepsie, we serve New York clients in Beacon, Fishkill, Wappingers Falls, Newburgh, Tarrytown, Greenburgh, Westchester County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, Orange County, and Rockland County. To learn more about how an experienced Westchester County paternity attorney can help you with a paternity matter, email us or call us promptly at (914) 402-4541.