The legal responsibility to support a child begins with determining paternity. Some unmarried fathers acknowledge the parent-child relationship at birth while others aren’t recognized as biological fathers until a court order is issued establishing them as the father.
If you need an attorney’s advice about your rights and obligations as an unmarried parent, contact experienced Rochester Family Law Attorney Michael D. Schmitt. We advise and represent mothers and fathers on aspects of paternity under New York law, from the determination of disputed paternity through a DNA test to liability for unpaid child support. We also advise unmarried fathers about their rights to custody and visitation.
Determining Paternity | Right to Support
Experienced Rochester Family Law Attorney Michael D. Schmitt can guide you through the process of determining paternity, establishing a child support obligation, or dealing with the problems of unpaid child support after the relationship has been established. Child support shouldn’t be ordered for any period before paternity was admitted or proved, but no agreement between unmarried parents to reduce or waive child support will stand up in court. The right to support belongs to the child, and parents can’t give it away. Our knowledgeable Rochester paternity lawyer can help keep it that way.
Once paternity is established, a father can get the same legal or physical custody rights and regular visitation as a divorced or separated parent, but it’s usually necessary to go to court to obtain official recognition of these rights. In some cases, it’s possible to negotiate arrangements with the child’s mother and present the agreement in court for approval. In other situations, however, you’ll need a court order over the other parent’s objections to establish a secure right of visitation or custody
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Are you or a loved one facing a paternity matter in New York? Contact experienced Rochester paternity lawyer Michael D. Schmitt for a free confidential consultation. Let his experience work for you.