It may seem like a simple matter, but answering the question “Who’s the father of this child?” is actually more complex than you may think. Below, Cobert, Haber and Haber, LLP will discuss the legal rules surrounding paternity, and the different circumstances that may occur.
There are many cases where a man either acknowledges paternity, or is presumed to be the father. Acknowledged fathers are men in committed or married relationships who father children, and paternity is established by admission or mutual agreement. Acknowledged fathers are required to pay child support and may petition for child custody with the help of a Child Custody Attorney at Cobert, Haber and Haber, LLP of Queens.
1. Presumed fathers are men married to a woman at the time of birth or conception. In some states, a man who wants to marry a woman and conceives a child at the time is also presumed to be the father. If a man marries a woman after a child is born and signs the birth certificate, he is presumed to be the child’s father, and in all of the instances above the man must pay child support.
2. Alleged fathers are usually unmarried men who conceive children. Unwed and alleged fathers are required to pay support if paternity is acknowledged or determined by the court, and these men have the right to visitation and child custody.
3. Stepfathers are men married to a child’s biological mother, and who came along after the child was born. These men are not legally obligated to support the woman’s children unless they go through the adoption process.
Actions to Establish Paternity
Paternity actions are suits filed to declare a man the legal father of a child, and can be brought by either a father or a mother. These suits are sometimes referred to as parentage actions, filiation hearings or establishment hearings. Most are initiated by state welfare agencies that are legally required to seek reimbursement from fathers.
Mothers must cooperate in these actions, or risk losing their benefits. Today’s DNA and blood testing can determine a child’s paternity with 99.99% accuracy, and can rule it out with 100% accuracy. When paternity is established, courts order men to pay child support and allow them to petition for Child Custody in Queens.