Paternity Establishing Paternity

If the child’s parents are not married at the time of their child’s birth the child’s paternity can be established as follows:

  • Both parents can sign a form “Acknowledgment of Paternity”; or
  • The child’s mother or father can file a paternity proceeding in the New York Family Court requesting the court to issue an Order of Filiation, which provides that the child’s biological father is the child’s legal father.
Acknowledgment of Paternity

In New York State when an unmarried woman gives birth to a child, the hospital must give the mother and father the opportunity to sign a form called “Acknowledgment of Paternity” which identifies the father of the child.

A child’s legal father has legal rights and obligations toward his child, as follows:

  • He has the right to request custody or visitation of his child; and
  • He is legally obligated to pay child support.

It is essential to determine paternity for a child born to parents who are not married to make sure that the children or child have the same benefits and legal rights as those children born to parents who are married.

Family law attorney with experience in paternity proceedings

Whether you are the mother or father of the child, if you require the help of an experienced NYC matrimonial and divorce lawyer to establish paternity or to better understand its benefits and obligations contact the law office of Ingrid Gherman at (212) 941-0767 or send the on-line form.

Benefits in New York from the establishment of paternity

The child gets financial and emotional benefits once paternity is established. For example:

  • The child is reassured that his or her father cared to acknowledge paternity;
  • The name of the father appears on the child’s birth certificate;
  • The child receives life insurance and medical insurance from either parent, if available.
  • The child has access to the family’s medical history information
  • The child is entitled to financial support, including child support, and additional benefits such as: Social Security; Veterans benefits; and Inheritance rights.

The mother receives benefits from the establishment of paternity, such as:

  • Shared parental responsibility with the child’s father;
  • Information about the father's family and medical history;
  • Child support; and medical insurance for the child

The father receives benefits from the establishment of paternity, such as:

  • Establishing his legal rights as a parent
  • Adding his name on the birth certificate of his child
  • The right to petition the court for the right of visitation and custody; and
  • The right to receive information about his child and to have a say in adoption proceedings

In the event there is any uncertainty regarding the biological father’s identity, the parents can file a petition in the Family court to ascertain paternity. At this point the alleged father, the mother and the child will be ordered by the court to have specified genetic testing. The Family Court determines whether or not the alleged father is the child’s legal father based on the results of these genetic tests. An Order of Filiation will be issued by the Family Court if the genetic testing proves the claiming father to in fact be the child’s actual biological dad. That Order declares that the man is the child’s legal father. Either parent can petition the Family Court for an order of child support after the Filiation Order is issued.

Need help?

With her many years of family law experience and the requisite knowledge that comes with it, attorney Ingrid Gherman can assist you with any aspect of paternity establishment proceedings in New York City area Family Courts. A highly knowledgeable lawyer in this field, Ingrid can also provide you with detailed information about the benefits and obligations involved in ascertaining the paternity of your child. If you need help, contact Ingrid’s law office at (212) 941-0767 or send the on-line inquiry form today.