There are frequently situations that involve not being sure who the biological father of a child is. These situations must be handled very delicately, as they are very stressful for everyone involved. When paternity must be established, the mother typically requests a paternity petition through the court. Once the court agrees that a paternity petition should be granted, the suspected father will have to follow a number of different steps. First, they will have to submit to a DNA test and provide the results to the court. Once an individual is found to be the child’s father, they may have to file an “acknowledgment of paternity.” This document allows a court to determine whether the father will be held responsible for providing the child with financial support until they become emancipated.
Once paternity is determined, the child’s father has the right to request any of the other parental rights that the mother can. Now, the father will be eligible to request child custody and visitation if they so desire. That being said, if they are the noncustodial parent, the court will likely order them to make child support payments to the custodial parent. If you have questions regarding establishing paternity, contact our firm today.
Leslye M. Schlesinger serves Rockland and Westchester County with compassion and integrity. With over 30 years of experience guiding clients through matrimony law, she now focuses on helping clients avoid litigation through alternative dispute resolution, including collaborative divorce and mediation. If you need an effective and committed attorney, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger for a consultation.