New York Fathers Rights Laws 2024 – What Are My Rights as a Dad?

As a father in New York, you have the same rights that a mother has to child custody. In most child custody cases, paternity has to be established in order to begin, and there can be a few different ways to establish paternity. It often requires the skill set of an attorney experienced in New York father’s rights law to help you navigate through your options as a father.

Establishing Paternity

Paternity is defined as the father’s legal status of being the father of the child. This status gives the father the right to legal and physical custody, visitation, and parental responsibilities of the child. Establishing paternity is the first component of establishing a father’s rights under New York state law. There are three main ways to establish paternity.

Paternity by Marriage

Under New York state law, if a child is born to a couple that is married, it is assumed that the husband is the father of the child. This is also known as legal presumption, and it gives the father automatic legal rights and the responsibilities associated with the child. If the parents were not married at the time of birth, then legal presumption does not apply, and paternity must be established either by voluntary acknowledgment or petition.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

A voluntary acknowledgment form is signed when the parents agree on who the paternal father is. This form is required to be signed by the two parents and has to be witnessed by two unrelated parties. This form states that the one who signed the form is indeed the paternal father of the child. This is most commonly done at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth.

Paternity Petition

In cases in which the parents cannot agree on who the paternal father is, a paternity petition can be filed to establish paternity. This form can be filed with the New York family court system by either the mother or the presumed father. Note that this form could also be filed by the child’s guardian or social services.

A paternity petition can be filed at any time, from when the mother becomes pregnant to the child turning 21. Once the petition has been filed, the court could order the mother, presumed father, and the child to submit to a genetic test. Once the paternal father is identified, he can be added to the child’s birth certificate.

Best Interest of the Child

Fathers have the same rights that a mother does under New York family law, but establishing paternity is a significant factor in the father being eligible for child support, visitation, and custody. It is important to remember that a judge will ultimately rule in favor of what is in the interest of the child. A father and a mother will have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their ability to meet the child’s interests.

Whether it involves establishing legal and physician custody, visitation rights, or child support, an experienced family law attorney can review your situation and help you determine what steps to take to ensure you receive a fair and equitable trial under New York state law.


Q: What Rights Does a Father Have in New York?

A: Fathers have equal rights to a child as mothers do in New York family court. A father has established custody and visitation rights to the child once paternity has been established. Paternity can be established by court order, acknowledgment of paternity, or legal presumption.

The legal presumption applies if the parents were married at the time of the child being born. Paternal fathers share the responsibility to financially support the child and make education, medical, and religious decisions as they relate to the child.

Q: Is New York a 50-50 Custody State?

A: Under New York state law, a judge will determine custody depending on what is in the best interests of the child. New York does not have any default 50-50 rule and is not considered to be a 50-50 state. Each custody case is different in its own right and will be judged according to its specific details. Mothers and fathers have an equal chance of being awarded custody of the child depending on their ability to provide for the child’s interests.

Q: Can I Leave New York State With My Child Without the Father’s Permission?

A: In most cases, you do not need the permission of the father. You do, however, need the permission of the New York child relocation court. You will have to bring your case before the court and present an argument as to why and how relocation is in the child’s best interests. It is important to note that the judge will consider what is in the child’s interest, and moving the child away from one of the parents may or may not be in alignment with that.

Q: How Is Child Custody Determined in New York?

A: Under New York state law, child custody is determined based on what is in the interest of the child. Oftentimes, the parent who is awarded physician custody is the parent who can demonstrate the ability to provide for the child’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, and a stable home environment. A judge will often weigh these factors and award custody based on which parent can provide the most conducive environment for the child.

A Legal Team You Can Trust

The legal team at Trotto Law Firm, P.C., understands that it can be difficult to know your legal rights and how to navigate through the different complexities of New York law. Our firm has provided compassionate representation to individuals all across the state of New York who may be struggling with a family law case. We assist by providing comprehensive legal services and support that puts the rights and interests of our clients and their children first.

Child custody cases can be highly stressful and emotional situations. You deserve proven and high-quality legal assistance. Trotto Law Firm, P.C., can provide timely legal assistance and advice on all matters related to family law. Contact our legal team today to learn more about what your options are under New York family law.

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