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Child Custody Paternity Testing Tips for Fathers

by | Nov 10, 2020 | Child Custody and Support NY

Having a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a man’s life. For many men, however, things often become difficult when it’s no longer possible to have a relationship with the child’s mother. Then they have to face and deal with legal matters like child custody, visitation, and child support, in addition to dealing with the divorce or separation itself.

Paternity testing can be an important issue in many family law cases, however, it’s often overlooked as more pressing matters come to the forefront of the case. Below is some important paternity testing tips for Long Island fathers and how to get the experienced legal help you need in a divorce or child custody case.

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If You Weren’t Married, Get a Paternity Test

If you weren’t married to the mother of your child at the time of your child’s birth, you should get a paternity test as soon as possible. Even if you don’t doubt that you’re the father of the child, having paternity legally established at the start of your custody case is in your best interests.

Why Do I Need a Paternity Test?

In New York, like many other states, married men are automatically awarded fathers’ rights to children from that marriage, regardless of biological connection. If another man claims to be the father of the child or the married man claims not to be the father, a paternity test must be done. This determines if the which man has legal rights with regard to the child and/or from whom the mother of the child has the right to pursue child support.

However, if no objections are made to the contrary, married men do not have to prove their biological relation to the child to pursue custody and visitation or to be pursued for child support. If you were not married at the time of the child’s birth, a paternity test will need to be done before you can exercise your parental rights or be ordered to pay child support.

Choose the Right Kind of Paternity Test

If your child custody and support case requires paternity to be established, you need to have a legal paternity test done. Any other type of paternity test may not be valid from a legal perspective.

Why Is the Type of Paternity Test Important?

Not all types of paternity tests are considered admissible in court. For example, a home paternity test may give you and your ex know some assurance of whether or not you are the biological father of a child, but a court will not accept these results as proof of paternity before awarding custody or making a child support determination.

This is because it’s impossible to prove that a test conducted at home was performed properly or even conducted on the parties involved in the case. To be considered valid by a court, a paternity test must be conducted by a medical professional at a facility equipped to do so without breaking the chain of custody or contaminating the DNA sample.

Understand Long Island Fathers’ Rights

Before heading into a custody battle or a child support hearing, you need to have a good understanding of what your rights are as the father of a child in New York.

Why Are Father’s Rights So Important?

While New York courts have made significant progress from the days of assuming that a child was always better off with their mother, some believe they’ve not come far enough. Mothers tend to still be favored over fathers in child custody cases, with the exception of situations that clearly involve child abuse, domestic violence, or drug and alcohol abuse.

Often, fathers’ rights simply remain unaddressed by family courts unless the father of the child is vocal about his right to access his child and make legal decisions regarding their health, education, and wellbeing. However, fathers who are insistent upon exercising their parental rights are generally granted their requests, unless the mother can show evidence of abuse or violence perpetrated by the father.

Contact an Experienced Long Island Child Custody and Divorce Lawyer for Help Establishing Your Father’s Rights

If you’re involved in a Long Island child custody case or are considering your legal options regarding your children, it’s critical to reach out for help from an experienced family lawyer. Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today for more information or to book your initial consultation by calling 631-923-1910.


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