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Talmud Law, PLLC The Law Offices of Rebecca J. Talmud

Establishing paternity in New York

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Divorce

For mothers, establishing paternity is easy, but for fathers, not so much. For fathers who want their legal rights, establishing paternity is essential. In New York, there are multiple ways to establish paternity.

Legal presumption of paternity

When a child is born to a married couple, New York law presumes the husband to be the child’s legal father. This presumption holds unless it is legally contested and disproven. For example, if there was an affair, and the husband is not the biological husband, the paramour can sue to have their paternity established over the husband.

Acknowledgment of Paternity

Paternity can also be established voluntarily through an Acknowledgment of Paternity form. Typically, a father signs this form at the hospital when the child is born.

Order of Filiation

An Order of Filiation is a court order that legally establishes a man’s paternity. To obtain this, a petition must be filed in the Family Court. These petitions can be filed by anyone with a parenting interest, like the mother, a potential father, the child themselves or a legal guardian of the child.

Importance of establishing paternity

Establishing paternity is crucial for several reasons. First, there are the legal rights it confers onto the father. It grants the father rights to custody and visitation, but it also has support obligations. In other words, it obligates the father to support the child financially, though, this is a shared responsibility with the mother. It is also important for the child too as it provides the child with inheritance rights and eligibility for benefits, such as Social Security and veteran’s benefits.

Paternity is not just a father issue. With LGBTQ+ couples, it can come up in other contexts. Each case is unique, and the process may vary depending on individual circumstances. Understanding your rights and responsibilities is vital when dealing with paternity issues.