Brighton Paternity Lawyer

Brighton Paternity Lawyer

Brighton Paternity Attorney

When it comes to paternity, a number of questions and issues can arise. Some of these legal instances include establishing paternity, child custody, and child support issues. When any of these family issues arise, you may need the help of a lawyer. A Brighton paternity lawyer can help you settle any disputes so that your rights are protected and the child’s interests are preserved.

Brighton Paternity Lawyer

Trotto Law Firm P.C., a Trusted Law Firm

At Trotto Law Firm P.C., we understand the significance of family values. Family matters often involve profound decisions that shape the lives of both the adults and children involved. Facing these challenges can be overwhelming, but the attorneys at Trotto Law Firm P.C. are here to provide you with the legal support you need.

We’re committed to guiding you through the legal journey, ensuring you comprehend your rights while addressing your specific concerns. With our extensive knowledge representing numerous unique clients, we tailor our approach to your unique circumstances. We will create a personalized plan to help you navigate your situation effectively.

Defining Paternity

From a legal perspective, paternity signifies the status of being a father. Under the law, fathers are given specific rights and responsibilities concerning their children. These include the right to legal custody, which empowers them to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, including matters such as education, healthcare, and religion. Additionally, the father has a right to seek visitation and physical custody.

In New York, if a child is born to two married individuals, the husband is presumed to be the father. However, if the parents are unmarried, the father does not automatically inherit these rights. In such cases, establishing paternity becomes essential to securing these rights and responsibilities.

The parents have two options when establishing paternity in Brighton and throughout New York. They can either sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, which can be signed at the hospital after the birth of the baby or sometime later if the parents choose. The form must be witnessed by two people unrelated to the parents.

If the parents do not agree to sign the form, one of them can petition the family court to have the parents and child genetically tested to determine paternity. If the alleged father is proven to be the biological father of the child, the court will issue an Order of Filiation, officially and legally declaring him the father. This gives him the legal benefits and responsibilities of a father unless these rights are terminated by the court in the interests of the child.

Paternity Disputes

Paternity disputes can arise either when paternity is established or even after paternity has been established. Some of these disputes include:

  • Disputing paternity: One of the most common disputes when it comes to paternity is the identity of the biological father. Both the mother and the alleged father can contest paternity. If either party legally contests paternity, testing will occur on the parents and child to establish paternity, or the court can establish paternity through evidence-based means.
  • Child support: Child support disputes often accompany paternity cases. The court will attempt to ensure that all child support obligations are determined fairly based on income, expenses, and the needs of the child.
  • Custody and visitation: Once paternity is established, both parents may seek custody and visitation arrangements. While the New York court seeks to advocate for the interests of the child, it is common for both parents to fight for their own individual rights and assert what they believe is favorable for the child. Unfortunately, the two parties may sometimes disagree on what those interests are and how to most effectively meet them.
  • Refusal to acknowledge paternity: In some cases, an alleged father may choose to refuse to acknowledge paternity. In these instances, a court order may be established in order to compel the alleged father to undergo genetic testing or to petition the court to establish paternity.
  • International paternity disputes: In some less common cases, there is one parent who resides in a completely different country. These types of cases require qualified legal assistance from an attorney who can navigate the complexities of international laws.


Q: Can a Mother Refuse a Paternity Test in New York?

A: In New York, either parent can request a paternity test. However, if the mother refuses to allow her child to undergo a paternity test, the father can petition the court to compel the test. The court can order that genetic testing take place if there is a dispute regarding the paternity of the child. Once compelled by the court, both parents are legally obligated to complete testing.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on Paternity in New York?

A: In New York, the statute of limitations on paternity is 21 years. This means that paternity can be established while the mother is pregnant or any time after that, up until the child’s twenty-first birthday. There are instances where someone may be allowed to establish paternity outside the statute of limitations, such as if the father previously paid child support.

Q: Does Signing a Birth Certificate Establish Paternity in New York?

A: Signing a birth certificate in New York does establish the legal presumption of paternity, but it does not have to serve as definitive proof of paternity. If both parents sign the birth certificate, it is presumed the father is the legal father. However, the assumption can be disputed later on if either parent deems it necessary.

Q: Can a Non-Biological Father be Required to Pay Child Support in New York?

A: A non-biological father can be required to pay child support in New York under certain circumstances. Some examples of these instances include if the father legally adopted the child, if the non-biological parent established a parental relationship with the child, if the father supported the child financially, or if the father acted as a parent to the child.

Contact Trotto Law Firm P.C. Today

If you or someone you know is involved in a paternity dispute, having skilled legal representation can make all the difference. Family law attorney Jonathan C. Trotto at Trotto Law Firm P.C. can help you fight for your rights. We can provide a custom plan for you to ensure that you and any children involved receive the support you deserve. Contact us today for more information.

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