If you are a father in Saratoga County who would like to seek visitation with, or physical or legal custody of, your child, you will only be able to do so in the event that you have established paternity. Establishing paternity is equivalent to securing legal parentage, and all rights associated with legal parentage, of a child. If you have not yet established paternity and would like to do so, our attorneys at The Colwell Law Group, LLC can help.

The Importance of Establishing Paternity

Establishing paternity is important for mothers, fathers, and children alike. For children, knowing who their father is and having an established legal relationship with their father is important because it provides them with the right to child support, inheritance, and benefits such as Social Security or veterans’ benefits, as well as the emotional and psychological comforts that are associated with knowing who one’s parents are. For mothers, when paternity is established, they can seek child support payments from the father if custody is not split equally. Paternity is important for both mothers and children as it provides children with access to healthcare from the father’s policy, and also provides both with important information about the father’s medical history. And for fathers, establishing paternity in Saratoga County provides them with the right to seek custody or visitation with their child.

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How to Establish Paternity in Saratoga County

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For fathers that are married to their child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth, paternity is automatically established, and further action need not be taken. For couples who are not married at the time of their child’s birth, there are two ways that paternity can be established:

  • By signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form, which is often done in the hospital at the time of the child’s birth; and
  • By a court order following a petition to the court.

If the latter option is taken–which is necessary in the event that either parent doubts, or is unsure of the fact, that the male in question is indeed the biological father–the court will order genetic testing. If genetic testing reveals that the male party is indeed the child’s father, then the court will declare paternity, and related issues, such as determining custody and child support, can proceed.

Establish Paternity Today

Whether you are a mother or father in Saratoga County, if you were not married to the parent of your child at the time of birth, and therefore paternity has not been established, establishing legal parentage is an important step to take. If you are a mother who wants to seek child support, but cannot because paternity has not been established, our law firm can assist you. If you are a father who would like to seek custody, but cannot because paternity has not been established, we are the knowledgeable and committed resource you need. To schedule a consultation at our office in Ballston Spa, NY, contact our experienced Saratoga County paternity lawyers online or by phone.

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