Parents have rights regarding child custody, visitation, and support, regardless of whether or not they were married at the time the child was born. Unfortunately, many parents avoid exercising their legal rights because they do not understand complicated laws related minor children. A mother or father seeking a determination on paternity is at a disadvantage, and the child may suffer.

At the law firm of The Colwell Law Group, LLC, our attorneys understand that paternity is a sensitive, personal issue. For this reason, we strive to be compassionate in delivering top quality legal services, but will aggressively fight to protect your interests. With more than 20 years of combined experience, our team has the developed the skills necessary to assist you in achieving your goals in a paternity case.


Establishing Paternity Under New York Law

Paternity refers to a child’s legal fatherhood, and there are three primary ways to establish paternity in New York:

  1. If the parents are married when the child is born, the husband is legally presumed to be the father;
  2. If the parents are not married and agree, the father and mother can execute an Acknowledgement of Paternity; or,
  3. If the mother is not married and the father disputes paternity, a court will decide paternity and issue an order.

Regardless of how paternity is determined, it bestows rights and responsibilities upon the mother, father, and the child.

Rights Of Unmarried Mothers

Raising a child involves more than just providing food, shelter, and clothing. The child’s education, medical needs, and extracurricular activities contribute to his or her well-being, and they are a crucial part of upbringing. Mothers have the right to pursue the father for child support, but establishing paternity is required. Where the father disputes his role and it becomes necessary to go to an Orange County Family Court, there are ways to prove paternity through DNA testing.

Our lawyers at The Colwell Law Group are at your side throughout paternity court proceedings, assisting you with presenting proper proof that a person is your child’s father. We can also help with seeking child support and addressing issues if the father chooses to exercise his parental rights.

Unmarried Fathers Have Rights, Too

Fathers of children born out of wedlock also have the right to be part of the child’s life, and to be involved with the important decisions involved with raising him or her. To exercise your rights, it is necessary to establish legal paternity.

At The Colwell Law Group, our legal team can help you understand the impact of signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity and will assist with preparing the necessary forms. Where there is a dispute with your child’s mother, we will advocate on your behalf in court and prove your father’s rights through a DNA test. In addition, our attorneys will represent you in connection with custody and visitation matters and can work with you on requests for child support.

A Knowledgeable Attorney Can Help with Paternity Issues

Paternity cases are complicated, especially when disputes make it necessary to go to court. Our lawyers at The Colwell Law Group have the experience and knowledge to fight for your rights, no matter what your role in a child’s life. To schedule a consultation, please give us a call at 518-864-0564 or visit us online.

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