Paternity Attorney in Albany NY
At the law firm of The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we understand paternity cases. With more than 20 years of combined experience, we have what it takes to achieve the goals of the people we represent, people just like you. You can be confident with us on your side. To learn more about our experience handling paternity and orders of filiation, schedule a consultation with an experienced Albany paternity attorney. Call 518-512-0544 or e-mail our family law office today.
Establishing Paternity in New York
For unwed couples, paternity must be established. This has benefits for the mother, the father, and the child. Generally speaking, the sooner you establish paternity, the better off the child will be. This is even true in cases where you feel that the father is unfit to be a parent.
Once the paternity is established, a mother can get child support by court order even when the father does not have legal custody of the child. Additionally, you can then sue to terminate the rights of the unfit parent which would free the child up for adoption. If you simply don’t tell the father or allow the child to be adopted without the father’s foreknowledge or consent, the father may petition the court to vacate the adoption later. By getting it out of the way early, you can move forward with a stepparent adoption.
How to Establish Paternity
Ways of establishing paternity include:
- Naming the father on the birth certificate; and
- Having the father sign a paternity statement.
In some cases, the father will deny that the child is his. In this case, the court will order a paternity test in order to establish whether or not the child is biologically related to the father. If it comes back positive, he is the father. If not, then the mother should still make the effort to establish paternity.
Let’s say the father admits to paternity but later attempts to claim that the child does not belong to him. Even if he proves his case with a DNA test, the courts will likely consider the man the father of the child. The father would then have to find the biological father and hope that he wants custody of the child in order to void his parental obligation to the child.
This may even be true in cases where the mother misled the stepfather into believing that the child was his. Since the stepfather has an established rapport with the child, he may still be legally obligated to support them.