Paternity Proceedings in New York
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Paternity is the term by which a father is granted legally enforceable
rights and responsibilities to his child. Paternity may be established
in one of three ways.
- If the parties are married, New York presumes the husband to be the father
of any children of the marriage. This presumption can be rebutted.
- Paternity can be established by the proper execution of an acknowledgment
of paternity if the parties are not married.
- Paternity can be established by a court order.
Determining Paternity: The Process
A paternity proceeding is commenced in Family Court by the filing of a
verified petition from the party seeking to establish paternity. If the
parties are not married, prior to a court issuing an order of
child support, paternity must be established. If the woman is married, her husband must
usually be named as a party to the proceeding.
Once the parties are in court, they have the option to consent to an order
of paternity. Consenting to an order of paternity means that there is
no question as to who is the father of the child, and that neither side
is requesting blood or DNA tests. It is very difficult to overturn a consent
order of paternity, so if there is any question of paternity, the order
should not be entered on consent. Such an order may very well stand even
if down the road it is found that the legal father is not the biological father.
Court-Ordered Paternity Tests
If there is no consent order of paternity, the court will generally order
blood or DNA tests. Once the results of the blood or DNA tests are known,
the parties once again will generally have the option to consent to an
order of paternity, or request a hearing.
If the case goes to a hearing, it is the party seeking to establish paternity
to prove paternity by clear and convincing evidence. If, however, the
probability of paternity in the blood or DNA tests is 95% or higher, New
York law presumes the man is the father, and it is now his burden to overcome
this presumption. At the end of the hearing, the court will consider all
properly introduced evidence, and either issue an order of paternity or
dismiss the paternity petition.
Call us about paternity cases in Suffolk County!
At The Meyers Law Group, P.C. our devotion to our clients is unwavering.
We pride ourselves on providing all of our clients with the highest standard
of legal care, tailored to meet their specific needs. Furthermore, we
strive to give our clients the guidance they need to make informed and
intelligent decisions regarding their legal matters.
We achieve this goal by providing each client with personalized attention,
frequent communication, viable options, and a thorough evaluation of the
case at hand. At The Meyers Law Group, P.C. we do not rest until our clients
walk away with a fair and just outcome and a rewarding experience.
Contact us if you need assistance with establishing paternity and protecting your
parental rights in Long Island,
Nassau County, or