Paternity must be established for parental rights and parental obligations to be bestowed on a father. If a father does not have legal paternity, he will have no parental rights in relation to the child. Likewise, without paternity, a man is under no legal obligation to provide any sort of support for a child.

This is why paternity is so important: it is the fundamental basis of parental rights and duties for men in New York. At the Colwell Law Group, our Washington County paternity lawyers have deep experience handling all sides of paternity cases. Whether you are a dad trying to get access to your parental rights, or you are a mother who is attempting to prove paternity so you can get the support you are owed, our law firm is here to help you.



How to Prove Paternity in New York

The best way to prove paternity in Washington County, NY will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Under New York family law, there are three basic ways to legally establish paternity. Here, our Washington County paternity attorneys provide a brief overview of each of these methods.


If a husband and wife are married at the time that a child is born, then that husband is automatically assumed to the legal father of the child. No additional action needs to be taken by any party. The man has both parental rights and parental duties. If the husband (or wife) believes that the man is not the actual father of the child, then immediate legal action must be taken to disestablish paternity. If the man fails to act in time, he may not be able to legally disestablish paternity. Quick action is required under New York state law.

Voluntary Acknowledgement

For unmarried couples, the easiest way to establish paternity is through voluntary acknowledgment. In cases where there is no dispute over paternity, this is quite easy to do. The couple should simply fill out and submit the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. When both the unmarried mother and unmarried father agree on paternity, this form is legally binding. It alone will establish paternity.  

Legal Action

If there is disagreement over paternity for the child, legal action will be necessary. If you find yourself in this circumstance, you should hire an experienced Washington County paternity lawyer immediately. Genetic testing may be required to resolve the dispute. Your attorney will be able to take the legal steps required to help you prove paternity. From there, your family law attorney can also help you take whatever other action is required to protect your rights, potentially including establishing child custody or child visitation rights, or getting child support payments.

Contact Our New York Paternity Attorneys Today

At the Colwell Law Group, our compassionate New York family law attorneys have deep experience handling all aspects of paternity cases. To get help from our paternity lawyers, please contact our law firm today for a full private case evaluation. We represent parents throughout Washington County, including in Granville, Greenwich, Hampton, Hartford, Hebron, Jackson, and Kingsbury.

Free E-Book From Colwell Law Group

Learn how to help your kids cope with your divorce with our complimentary guide for parents who are getting divorced or separated in New York.

Tell Us About Your Legal Need