Upstate New York Family Law Attorney Protecting Fathers’ Rights in Otsego County

When divorces and child custody battles become especially contentious, it is important for fathers to have dedicated advocates on their side. At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we have years of experience handling a wide variety of family law matters, and we are committed to protecting fathers’ rights when it comes to matters of paternity, child custody, and visitation. Many fathers who are involved in divorces worry that they will not be able to make a strong case to the court for child custody and visitation when the most important thing is simply ensuring that the parent-child relationship remains intact.

Both parents have legal rights when it comes to their children, and our firm believes that fathers and mothers should share equally in the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. An experienced Otsego County fathers’ rights lawyer can get started on your case today.


Rights of Unmarried Fathers in Otsego County, New York

Unmarried fathers should know that they have rights as parents and that there are a number of ways in which they can become the legal fathers of their children. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Children’s Bureau makes clear that the U.S. Supreme Court has “affirmed the constitutional protection of such a father’s parental rights when he has established a substantial relationship with his child.” In addition, the Court has ruled that “the existence of a biological link between a child and an unmarried father gives the father the opportunity to establish a substantial relationship,” which typically is defined as all of the rights and responsibilities associated with raising a child.

How can an unmarried father establish paternity in Otsego County? Traditionally, New York State has two ways that an unmarried father can establish paternity:

  1. Parents agree to paternity and sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity, which can be done at the time of the child’s birth or afterward; or
  2. Father can petition the court to establish paternity, which may include a DNA test.

Fathers’ Rights in Otsego County Child Custody Cases

One of the primary reasons that unmarried fathers seek to establish paternity is because of a custody or visitation case. At the same time, even married fathers who are established as a legal parent of the child have concerns about court biases in awarding custody and visitation. At New York law underscores, “anyone who has an important role in a child’s life may ask the court for custody,” and fathers should know that they have just as much of a right to play a role in their child’s life as the mother.

In making decisions about child custody, courts seek to determine what is in the best interest of the child. In so doing, the court looks at many different factors about the specific family situation. Fathers should know that the court wants to maintain the parent-child relationship for both the mother and father, and often sees the maintenance of these relationships as being in the child’s best interest.

Contact a Fathers’ Rights Lawyer in Otsego County

If you are a father and need assistance establishing paternity or handling a child custody case, an experienced Otsego County fathers’ rights attorney can help. Contact The Colwell Law Group, LLC for more information.

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