When you are going through a separation from your partner, you likely have a lot of questions about what is going to happen with your children. If you are an unmarried couple, before going forward with your custody arrangements, NYS requires that you establish paternity. To learn more about how this is done, please keep reading. To meet with our Rochester family law attorney, please call our office today to set up a consultation.
Why Do I Need to Establish Paternity?
If you are not married to your children’s mother, in order to go forward with a custody case, you need to establish paternity. This legally ties you to your children.
Establishing paternity helps you if you want some form of custody, either shared or full. In some cases, paternity gets established when there are discussions of child support.
You may also request paternity be established if you believe the pregnancy was a result of infidelity and you suspect you are being roped into paying child support payments. We can help you through your scenario either way.
How to Establish Paternity
You can establish your paternity in a couple of ways. A way that does not involve DNA testing is through a signed agreement between both parents legally stating that they agree on the paternity of the children. This will establish that you are the father without having biological proof.
You may be wondering if you can use an at-home DNA test. While you may get answers for yourself and your family, these tests will not hold up as legal proof of paternity. In order to get a legal DNA test, you need to go to a lab that follows the necessary steps to get a result that you can use in your custody case.
What If I’m Not the Biological Father?
If you are not the biological father, that would mean you are not legally entitled to pay child support. It also means that if you want to maintain a relationship with the children or even have some sort of custody of them, you are going to have to establish that you have a relationship with them.
If you have been a huge part of their life and have created a strong bond with the children, this can help you establish that you are the role of the father without being biologically tied to them. This is made especially simpler if the biological father is either unknown or entirely uninvolved.
Call Our Rochester Family Law Attorney
If you need help establishing paternity, we strongly urge you to reach out to our Rochester family law attorney right away. We would be glad to help you through this very difficult situation. We not only represent you but also the best interests of your children. Please give our office a call today.