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Paternity is required before receiving child support

Children in New York are born into different types of families. However, one thing is easy to determine at the time of a child's birth and that is the child's mother. Determining the child's father can be more difficult though as that is not immediately clear. There are different processes for doing this depending on the relationship of the parents. There is one process for determining paternity if the parents are married and a different one if the parents are unmarried at the time of the birth.

If the parents are married at the time of the birth, paternity is automatically established. However, if the parents are unmarried the parents must establish paternity one of two ways. One is by signing an acknowledgement of paternity, which is a legal document that both parents sign stating the father is in fact the father of the child. The other option is going through a court process and eventually having paternity testing completed to establish the man is the father.

Paternity may not seem like a major issue initially especially if the parents do not have any doubt about paternity, but it can become a big deal if the parents ever separate. This is because the father has no legal rights to the child without paternity. This means that the father cannot receive any custody or parenting time. It also means that the mother would not be able to receive child support either. So, establishing paternity can be very important to ensure that the mother receives financial support while raising the child.

There are many parents in New York. Some may be married to the other parent or living together. However, many others are divorced or living separately. In these situations one parent may have custody of the children, which means the other parent is generally required to pay child support. Before that can occur though, paternity must be established. Paternity proceedings can be complicated especially if they are disputed and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through it.

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Carton & Rosoff PC
150 Grand Street, Suite 305
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: 914-949-6700
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