As an experienced Long Island Family Law Attorney I have seen how Father’s rights have become a prominent social issue on Long Island. It is a well-known and often quoted fact that children typically benefit from a relationship with their biological fathers; however, many fathers do not become involved in children’s lives for one reason or another. It may be the case that you were not aware that you fathered a child, but later learned that you may have. In cases like this, it is important to consider the importance of the role and whether you wish to pursue the establishment of paternity.
How to Establish Paternity on Long Island
Paternity can be established in a couple of ways on Long Island, New York: Signing an affidavit of paternity or petitioning the court to determine paternity. Without establishing paternity, you will not have the right to visitation, custody, or even a relationship with your child.
It May Be Hard Work to Establish Your Rights as a Father
Many fathers have to work hard to establish their rights to see their children. All too often, fathers facing difficulty establishing rights to visit with or make decisions for their children simply give up because it seems like an uphill battle. Many mothers can be very strong and zealous when they feel they need to protect their children, and this can pose unique challenges to fathers on the other end. Fathers have the choice to stand up for themselves and for their children as they assert their legal rights that go along with parenthood, as the father-child relationship is often in the child’s best interests.
Times Have Changed. Fathers Have Rights Too
On Long Island, the lay of the land in Child Custody has changed over the years. Mothers are no longer the custodial parent simply by default, nor do they have all of the rights when it comes to children. From establishing paternity, which is sometimes the first step, to obtaining custody or visitation of your children, fathers should recognize the importance of their roles in their children’s lives.
Male Role Models are Important to Children
There are many reasons for this. Aside from the importance of having a positive male role model in one’s life, children benefit from knowing about their family medical history, as well as possible inheritance or benefits rights, including Social Security. These are all benefits of establishing paternity for the children.
With Great Rights Comes Great Responsibility
It is important to understand that “with great rights come great responsibility.” In the context of parenthood, this means that you will be financially and legally responsible for your children. You will be responsible for payment of child support if you are the noncustodial parent. Most would agree that the challenges and responsibility of parenthood are far outweighed by the benefits of a parent-child relationship. In other words, your relationship with your child is far more valuable. Although you might face challenges along the way in terms of your relationship with the child’s other parent, as well as the child support obligations that may feel like a burden at times, consider the importance of your role in your child’s life.
Contact an Experienced Long Island Family Law Attorney with Your Father’s Rights Questions
When choosing to pursue your father’s rights in Long Island courts, it is important that you find an attorney that you trust who is experienced in helping clients establish paternity, child custody and visitation, child support and other family law matters that might pertain to your case. The Family Law firm of Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. can assist you with navigating the legal landscape of family law, including your questions and concerns about father’s rights in New York. An experienced professional attorney with many years of experience and even more success stories along the way, the attorneys at the firm are available to assist you to address your legal needs. Contact our conveniently located office on Route 110 (bordering Nassau County and Suffolk) at 631-923-1910 to schedule your free initial consultation.
Download Your Free New York Divorce Guide
Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer, Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better.