When it comes to your relationships with your child or children, dealing with legal issues can be tough. You may be wondering whether or not you have the legal right to a relationship with your children. While the rights you have as a father in the State of New York depend on a few factors, it’s important to consult with a Father’s Rights lawyer to see how the laws apply to you.
To define a father’s rights in Long Island, there are a few considerations:
- Whether you are or were married to the mother of your child
- If the mother of your child or children is married to someone else
- If you were unmarried at the time of birth, whether you have an “Acknowledgement of Paternity” or an “order of filiation”
- If you have a child visitation agreement
- If you pay or are behind on paying child support
If you are or were married…
If you were married at the time of your child’s birth, you are automatically granted legal rights as the father of your child or children. Although the mother of your child can petition the court for paternity if she believes you are not the father of the child, you are protected by law as the legal father. If a petition of paternity is filed in this case, you should absolutely consult a father’s rights lawyer, as your case may get very complicated.
If the mother of your child or children is married to someone else…
Under New York law, the man the mother of the child or children is married to is the father, for legal purposes. If you believe the child is yours, you must file a petition for paternity and obtain a court ordered paternity test. Even if you are proven to be the biological father, that does not guarantee you any legal rights. Your father’s rights lawyer can help build your case. Ultimately, the decision is up to the judge.
If you and the mother were unmarried at the time of birth…
If you were present at the time of birth and signed an “Acknowledgement of Paternity,” then you are legally recognized as the father. This means you have the legal right to a relationship with your child, and you have the legal obligation to be responsible for your child. This means that the mother of the child can file for child support and, if ordered, you must pay it. To ensure what you’ve been asked to provide is reasonable, work with your father’s rights lawyer who will help protect you financially.
If you have a child visitation agreement…
You have the rights defined in the visitation agreement. If the visitation agreement is being violated or otherwise not upheld, you have the legal right to report it and appeal the decision. If at any time you feel the agreement is unfair, you have the right to modify the agreement. It’s best to have a lawyer who is familiar with your case and can continue to defend your rights as a father throughout the length of the agreement.
If you pay or are behind on child support…
It’s best not to wait until you can’t pay or are in violation of child support payments to contact a lawyer. However, if you find yourself in a bad situation, your father’s rights lawyer can help you navigate the legal requirements for paying child support and avoiding legal problems. By working with your lawyer, you’ll ensure child support is current and you have nothing to fear.