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Suffolk County Paternity Lawyer

The Importance of Establishing Paternity

Although every child has a biological mother and father, if the child is born out of wedlock, then they do not have a legal father. This can be extremely problematic for fathers who wish to maintain an active role in their child's life. A biological father who has not been established as a child's legal father technically has no rights or responsibilities when it comes to the child in question. As such, custody and visitation issues can be immensely more complicated.

Establishing paternity should be done as much for the child's sake as for the father's sake. Without a legally designated father, a child will not have all of the rights and benefits that a child born to married parents will have. More specifically, some of the financial and emotional aspects of a child's life that are provided through parenthood will not be experienced.

According to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, when paternity is established, the child, mother and father can all benefit in the following ways:

  • The father's name will be included on the birth certificate
  • The child will benefit from the medical and life insurance policies of both parents
  • The mother and father will both have access to the child's medical history
  • Doctors will have access to the child's full familial history of medical complications
  • Financial contributions will be made by both parents
  • Parental responsibility will be shared
  • Both parents will have the right to seek custody and visitation of the child

How to Establish Paternity in New York

Establishing paternity can be quite simple if the right elements are in place.

One of two methods can be used to officially seal the paternity of a child:

  1. A voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form can be signed
  2. The court can be petitioned to establish paternity

If there is debate over the identity of a child's father, the Acknowledgment of Paternity form should not be signed. Instead, the court should be petitioned, at which time the alleged father, along with mother and child, will be ordered to submit to genetic tests. The results of these tests will determine the identity of the father. Only if the alleged father proves to be the biological father will the court issue an order of filiation which will declare the official paternity of the child in question.

Why You Need an Attorney

Establishing paternity can be quite beneficial to all parties involved, as specified above. Unfortunately, not all cases of paternity end as amicably. There are some circumstances in which the establishment of a father's paternity brings on new parental conflicts. Suddenly, matters of custody, visitation, and child support are all issues at-hand, and they are all issues that need to be addressed in a timely manner. Therefore, an attorney needs to be utilized from the get-go.

When a lawyer is involved in a case of paternity, you can immediately address the concerns of child custody, support, and visitation that will likely follow the official establishment of a child's legal father. No one is better suited to take on this task than the law office of Steven P. Kuhn, Attorney at Law.

Under the representation of an attorney at our firm, you will benefit from more than 40 years of combined legal experience with 30 years of family law practice. We steadfastly represent the clients who seek our firm for support, and we are ready to do the same for you.

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