When a child is born to unwed parents, the biological father is not considered the child’s legal parent unless he signs an “Acknowledgement of Paternity.” The document is generally signed at the hospital at the time of the baby’s birth. Since the parents are not married the New York family court will enter an order of filiation. This court order establishes paternity.
When a child is born to married parents, the husband is presumed to be the child’s biological parent. Paternity is automatically established without him having to sign an “Acknowledgement of Paternity.”
In some situations, the presumed father, the woman’s husband, is not father. Also, the man who signed the acknowledgment finds out he is not the father. In these situations, a man can invalidate their acknowledgement of paternity within 60 days of the baby’s birth. They can also vacate the acknowledgement, with proof, after the 60-day period because of:
• Mistake of fact
If an “Acknowledgement of Paternity” is not signed or the mother was not married at the time of the child’s birth, paternity can be established through the Bronx family court. Bronx paternity is established according to New York FCT 516-a.
Filing a Paternity Petition in the Bronx
New York allows certain individuals to file a paternity petition in court to establish who is the father of the child. The people or agencies that can file the petition are:
• The mother
• The alleged father
• Welfare agency
• Child’s guardian
• Representative from a charitable organization
Once the court receives the petition, a hearing is scheduled. During the hearing, each side will present evidence to show why they should win. A DNA or blood test is ordered. Another hearing may be scheduled to reveal the results of the blood and/or DNA test.
What Happens after the DNA or Blood Tests are Revealed
One of two outcomes may occur. The alleged father is not the biological father. This means paternity is not established. The man does not have to pay child support and cannot seek child custody arrangements.
If the DNA or blood tests reveal the alleged father is the biological father, he can admit paternity. If the test results establish paternity, the court can create an order of filiation. The alleged father becomes the biological father and child support and child custody arrangements can be decided at a later hearing.
Child Custody after Paternity is Established in a Bronx Family Court
If the alleged father is the biological father, he can seek child custody arrangements. Child custody arrangements refer to who will primarily care for and raise the child. Physical child custody involves who will be the primary caregiver.
Both parents can receive physical custody of the child. However, a judge can also grant sole custody. If this occurs, one parent receives physical custody and the other parent receives visitation rights.
Bother parents can receive legal custody. Legal custody involves making important decision about the child’s upbringing. Sole legal custody is given to one parent. Joint legal child custody is given to both parents.
Contact Us about Your Bronx Paternity Case. We are Bronx Paternity Attorneys
Maybe you are not sure if the child is your biological child. Maybe you are a mother trying to establish paternity for your child. Maybe you are a child seeking to establish who is your biological father. We will help you.
We will be with you every step of the way in your paternity. If paternity is established, we will then move forward with child custody and child support arrangements. Contact us immediately for help.