Paternity cases represent legally challenging matters. If you face a paternity case in New York City, you need to have an essential understanding of paternity law in the Empire State. In addition, you best protect your legal rights in this type of case with the professional assistance of a skilled, experienced New York City paternity lawyer.
Judicial Jurisdiction a New York Paternity Case
In the state of New York, the family court has jurisdiction over paternity cases. The family court has the power to establish paternity. In addition, the family court has the power to issue such other orders that are naturally associated with the establishment of paternity. These include orders addressing matters like child support, child custody, and parenting time or visitation.
Acknowledgment of Paternity
New York law includes a provision that permits a putative father the ability to acknowledge paternity. The term putative father refers to a man who is thought to be the father of a child born out of wedlock, but who has not been legally identified as the father.
The acknowledgment can be prepared and submitted to the registrar in the state of New York where the birth certificate previously was filed. Provided there is no objection to the acknowledgment of paternity, no further legal action is required.
There can be an objection to the acknowledgment of paternity. First, another man who believes he is the father of a child born out of wedlock can take legal action to object to the acknowledgment of paternity. Second, the birth mother of the child can also object to an acknowledgment if she believes that someone else is the father of the child born out of wedlock.
60 days must lapse from the filing of the acknowledgment of paternity and the commencement of legal action challenging it. The specific grounds set forth in New York law upon which an objection to a paternity acknowledgment can be lodged are an allegation of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.
If there is a dispute regarding paternity, a paternity action can be filed in family court. The case can be filed by either the birth mother or a man who reasonably believes that he is the father of a child born out of wedlock. Depending on the circumstances, the state of New York can also initiate a paternity action.
Once a paternity action is initiated, the court will order DNA testing. The DNA testing results conclusively demonstrate whether or not a particular man is the father of a child born out of wedlock.
Default Judgment in a Paternity Case
If a putative father does not respond to a summons in a paternity case within the time frame established by law, the family court can enter what is called a default judgment. A default judgment will declare the putative father the legal father of the subject child. Barring some extraordinary circumstance, a default judgment cannot readily be set aside once it becomes the final order of the court.
Retain a New York City Paternity Lawyer
A person facing the challenges of a paternity case is wise to seek legal representation. A New York City paternity lawyer will schedule an initial consultation to discuss a case and a prospective client’s legal rights. There is no fee typically charged for an initial consultation in a paternity case.