If you are a father in New York who is going through a divorce, or who is unmarried to your child’s mother and is seeking custody of, or visitation with, your child as such, you may assume that the deck is stacked against you. While historically the court has indeed favored mothers in custody battles, especially in cases involving young children, today, fathers’ rights are strongly protected and advocated for. At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, our experienced Schenectady County fathers’ rights attorneys are sensitive to your situation and know that you want a legal advocate on your side who means business.

Establishing Paternity in Schenectady County

In order to ensure that your rights as a father are protected in New York, it is essential that paternity is established. Establishing paternity is the legal way to establish parental rights over a child, including the right to seek custody of that child if you and the child’s mother are unmarried or separating. If you and your child’s mother were married at the time of your child’s birth, paternity has automatically been established. If you and your child’s mother were unmarried at the time of birth, you can establish paternity by:

  • Signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form; or
  • Petitioning the court to establish paternity.

If paternity has not been established, we can assist you in doing so.


Your Rights in New York as a Legal Father

Once paternity has been established, you have the same legal rights as the child’s mother. This means that you can seek physical custody, legal custody, or both of your child if you and the child’s mother are separated.

The court must act in the child’s best interest. In New York, a child’s best interest is determined by considering a number of factors, including things such as each parent’s ability and willingness to care and provide for a child, each parent’s willingness to foster a loving relationship between the child and the other parent, each parent’s work schedule, the preferences of the child (in some cases), and any other relevant factors.

The fact that you are a father rather than a mother in itself is not a reason for a court to choose to award custody to the mother instead of you.

The Colwell Law Group, LLC Is Here for You

Do not assume that because you are a male you will have a harder time seeking custody of your child. Even if paternity has not yet been established, our Schenectady County fathers’ rights lawyers at The Colwell Law Group, LLC know that being awarded custody of your child is still very possible.

If you have questions about establishing paternity or seeking custody of your child, you should schedule a confidential consultation with us today. Our lawyers are reachable by phone at 518-320-7314, or by writing us a message through our website.

Call 518-462-4242

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