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Paternity on Long Island, NY

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Paternity Attorney, Long Island, NY
Paternity Attorney, Long Island, 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. In addition to potentially dealing with the divorce or separation itself, they then have to face and deal with legal matters like child custody, visitation, and child support.

Particularly in unmarried situations, paternity, proving a man is the father of a child, can become an important issue in many family law cases. This can often become overlooked as more pressing matters come to the forefront of the case. Below are some important paternity testing tips for Long Island, NY fathers and how to get the experienced legal help you need in a paternity case.

What Is Paternity?

Paternity is the legal recognition that someone is a child’s father. In the context of family court proceedings, it provides you with the legal status as a particular child’s father, with all the rights and responsibilities that come with that designation.

So what does it mean to be a child’s legal father? At a minimum, when you have this status, you now have responsibilities. You are responsible, both legally and financially, for that child.

In addition to those responsibilities, you also have rights to parenting time and potentially custody of your child. You are entitled to have a meaningful relationship with your child, which most would agree far outweighs any “burdens” placed upon you in your new role.

If you are the mother of an out of wedlock child, establishing paternity means you have the right to receive child support from the father. An individual cannot be ordered to pay child support on behalf of a child that he or she is not legally tied to.

Most importantly, the establishment of paternity plays a large role in the child’s life. Not only will the child now know he or she has two loving parents, but the child will also be able to obtain both parents’ medical history, and have the potential ability to receive benefits under various federal and state laws on behalf of either parent.

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How Does Paternity Affect Child Support & Child Custody?

Unmarried Men Have Rights and Responsibilities to their Children


How to Establish Paternity

On Long Island, New York, there are a few ways to establish paternity:

Marital Presumption

If a child is born to a married couple, that child is presumed to be that married couples’ offspring. But with 40% of all babies born to unwed mothers, many men aren’t able to take advantage of the marital presumption law.

Acknowledgment of Paternity

An acknowledgment of paternity may be utilized if the biological parents of the child are not married. Typically, at the hospital when the child is born, both the mother and father of the child will sign a form stating that the man who signed this form is the father of the child.

In order to avoid the potential for fraud, this form must be signed and notarized by both parents, in addition to being witnessed by two (2) uninterested, and unrelated, adult individuals.

Once this form is properly completed, the custodial parent will have the right to receive child support on behalf of the child from the non-custodial parent, and the non-custodial parent will have the right to enjoy parenting time with the child away from the residence of the custodial parent. This must be filed no later than five days after it is signed.

Court Petition

In the event either party refuses or is otherwise unwilling to sign an acknowledgement of paternity, the party seeking to establish paternity may file a petition in family court. In the event the mother of the subject child is the recipient of public assistance, the Department of Social Services is permitted to commence such an action.

Once the petition is filed, the mother, the child, and the alleged father will be ordered to take a DNA test. If the tests indicate there is a ninety-five percent (95%) or greater probability of paternity, a rebuttable presumption of paternity shall be established. In the event the child’s mother or the alleged father wishes to challenge this presumption, it is their burden to disprove paternity. If not disproven, paternity is established.

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.

Choosing the Right Kind of Paternity Test

Not all types of paternity tests are considered admissible in New York courts. For example, a home paternity test may give you and your ex 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.

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Is a Home Paternity Test Legally Admissible in Court?


Understanding Fathers’ Rights on Long Island, NY

While New York state 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.

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Fathers’ Rights

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Benefits of Fighting for Father’s Rights

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Other Family Legal Problems Faced by Men

Men facing family legal problems encounter many challenges that are both emotionally and financially draining. Custody battles, divorce proceedings, and child support disputes are common issues that men may confront. In custody cases, fathers often contend with stereotypes and historical biases that assume mothers are the default primary caregivers.

Additionally, false accusations of abuse or parental alienation can further complicate legal matters for men who want to maintain meaningful relationships with their children. Support networks, including legal counsel and mental health resources, play crucial roles in helping men navigate the complexities of family legal problems and work toward the best possible outcome.

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How Is Child Custody Different for Unmarried Parents?

5 Child Custody Problems Fathers Face

The Long Island Divorce Guide for Dads

Can a Father Win Sole Child Custody on Long Island?

Single Fathers: How To Protect Your Relationship with Your Kids

How to Fight Parental Alienation in Child Custody

5 Issues That Can Kill Your Long Island Child Custody Case

Child Abuse & Neglect Defense on Long Island

How Can I Prove Domestic Violence Accusations are False?

Is Your Ex Turning Your Children Against You After Your Long Island Divorce?

How to Fight Parental Alienation in Child Custody

How Parental Alienation Affects Your Kids

Top Strategies to Stop Parental Alienation

What Is Parental Alienation or Manipulation?

What to Do If You’re Being Alienated from Your Child


Get Help from the Experienced Paternity Lawyers at Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. on Long Island, NY

If you have questions about establishing paternity in courts on Long Island, NY, it’s best to contact an experienced Long Island family law attorney right away.

Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. can assist you with establishing paternity and advocate for you in court, alleviating some of the stress that comes with the process. Contact our office today at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form on this page for a free consultation.

They made our process so easy.  They were there to answer and help with any questions that came up.  Very friendly.

Rob Spielmann

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Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
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Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
I would give 6 stars if I could. I can't say enough good things about Robert and his firm. We were in a situation for over 2 years and I could have never made it through without Robert's experience and knowledge. He guided me through tough times when needed and his expertise could "read" the situation and make the next best move for me. He was tough when he needed to be tough (thankfully) and at the same time guided me through the process to make me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I would not want to go through this process without Robert and his team having my back. he helped move the case along and not waste any time or money. One last time, I 100% endorse Robert and his expertise.
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