Bronx Paternity Attorney

When you work with my firm, you can be confident that your case is in good hands. I have been serving the Bronx area since 1989 and I am proud to have an in-depth and up-to-date understanding of the various New York and federal laws governing family law matters and divorce. If you are considering filing a petition for a family law concern, do not hesitate to retain me as your paternity lawyer New York.

Paternity Lawyer New York

Protecting Fathers' Rights in the Bronx, NY

Numerous studies throughout the years have proven that having both parents involved in a child's life can be highly beneficial to his or her well-being. While it is almost always fairly easy to identify a child's mother, there may be times when legal assistance is needed to help establish paternity.

At The Law Office of Ava G. Gutfriend, I have experience in handling paternity cases and ensuring that the rights of each party involved are protected in New York. With the guidance of a Bronx paternity lawyer, you can effectively and legally establish paternity.

Establishing Paternity in New York

As a father, you have the right to obtain access to your child; however, in some cases, paternity may not be established on a child's birth certificate, so you will need to take a DNA test to match your genetics with that of the child. This is especially true for unmarried couples, as the state does not automatically assume you to be the parent of the child.

In New York, there are several ways to establish paternity depending on the situation:

  1. If the mother was married when the child was born, then the husband automatically becomes the child’s legal father. If the husband is not actually the biological father, then the mother or father may go to court to name the biological father as the legal father.
  2. If the mother was not married when the child was born, then the biological father and mother may sign the Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP). This names the biological father as the legal father of the child.
  3. Judicial process may also establish paternity and issue an “Order of Filiation”

If the mother of the child does not want you to take a paternity test or you are having a difficult time determining paternity, then a court order can help enforce compliance. Once paternity is officially established, you can begin having visitation interactions with your child - it is important to remember, though, that you may also be forced to pay child support to the child's mother or legal guardian.

What is Acknowledgement of Paternity in NY?

The Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) is a voluntary form for unmarried parents. It is typically signed after a child is born, although it is also available at child support offices and birth registrars. It names a person as the father of the child and allows their name to appear on the child’s birth certificate.

New York Paternity Services for Mothers & Children

If you are a mother of a child and you are looking to establish paternity, then it is important that you contact my firm.

As a woman, you have a right to legally validate who the father of your child is and obtain child support payments from them. If they do not comply with a court order and you find that it is difficult to obtain a paternity test, the New York paternity attorney from my firm can help. I can also assist children who are looking to determine biological paternity.

Who May File a Paternity Petition in New York?

A paternity petition may be filed by:

  • The child’s mother
  • A pregnant woman
  • A man who believes he is the biological father of the child
  • A child who is 18 years old -- the petition must be filed within 1 - 5 years of turning 18
  • A guardian of a child with the authority to act legally on behalf of the child

If the father refuses to take the paternity test, they may be held in contempt of court. There may be fines and a possibility that criminal charges may be filed. If they fail to respond to the court ordered paternity test, a default judgment may be taken against them, meaning that the Court will automatically give the plaintiff the remedy that they were seeking -- the court may deem the refuser to be the father and order them to pay child support.

Paternity may be established any time after the baby leaves the hospital, up until the child turns 21. If you did not have a father's name on your birth certificate and you are interested in establishing paternity, then consult my firm right away.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity for the Child in New York

When paternity is established for a child, then the child will have the same rights as a child whose parents were legally married.

Below are some of the benefits of establishing paternity:

  • The father will have the right to custody
  • The father will have the right to visitation
  • The father will have access to information involving the child, such as court proceedings, school, and medical records
  • The father will have the right to be notified of potential adoption proceedings and the right to contest it
  • Allows the child to get a better sense of their identity
  • Opportunity to create a relationship between father and child
  • The child will have access to their father’s medical history
  • The child can receive financial support from both parents
  • The child can receive health insurance from either parent, if available
  • The child can receive benefits from both parents: Social Security, Veteran’s benefits (if applicable), inheritance rights, and more

How to Petition the Court to Establish Paternity in NY

In order to petition the court to establish paternity:

  • You must have not signed the Acknowledgement of Paternity.
  • The mother must be married to someone else who is not the baby’s biological father. If the mother knows that her husband is not the father, a court hearing is needed to exclude him. The hearing will then establish the biological father as the legal father.
  • The parents have a child support hearing and paternity has not yet been established.

When filing a petition in court, a genetic test will be ordered on the mother and alleged father. When the father of the child is identified, an Order of Filiation will be issued by the judge. It declares that the alleged father is the legal father of the child. 

Schedule an Appointment with Attorney Gutfriend

Are you interested in protecting your rights as a father? Paternity tests are simple and provide quick results to those who are seeking to establish biological relations. When you work with my firm, you can be confident that your case is in good hands.

I understand that this time in your life may be stressful, but when you retain the assistance of The Law Office of Ava G. Gutfriend, you can be confident that every legal avenue is being pursued in order to provide you with the best possible outcome for your paternity case. I believe in ethical and fair treatment of each client and I will always put your needs first.

Do you have questions? Schedule an appointment with the New York paternity lawyer from my firm today to get started! Contact The Law Office of Ava G. Gutfriend.

put our respected firm in your corner

When you’re ready to take the next step, our experienced legal team is right here to help. Find out what it’s like to work with us in an initial consultation. We will discuss your case, taking care to explain your options and legal rights. To schedule a consultation, contact The Law Office of Ava G. Gutfriend by submitting a case evaluation form or calling us directly. I look forward to providing you with outstanding representation, trusted advocacy, and experienced counsel.

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