Protecting Your Rights May Be Crucial to Protecting Your Child’s Interests

The New York Family Court Act allows paternity proceedings to be initiated until a person is 21 years of age. According to Matter of Shondel, a person in doubt about whether he is the father of a child must request a DNA test prior to assuming the role of a father. Otherwise, he may be precluded from doing so in the future if it is not within the “best interest of the child”. In addition, a woman seeking to have a partner take a DNA test after a father-child relationship is already established may be precluded from doing so, if it will negatively impact the child.  

With that being said, while there is a strong presumption of paternity usually precluding any challenge for married couples, for those who are unmarried and concerned about paternity, it is important for fathers to know that their rights as a parent are protected under the law.  Whether you have already established a parent-child relationship or are seeking to establish paternity, here are some of the rights and responsibilities you may be afforded as the child’s father: 

  • Child support payments to secure the child’s financial future;
  • The child will have legal rights to an inheritance; 
  • The child will have legal rights to health insurance benefits; 
  • A father will have a legal right to make religious, healthcare, education, recreational, and travel decisions on the child’s behalf; and 
  • The father will have the right to remain in the child’s life and continue to establish a bond. 

Many fathers are worried about their rights as a parent.  However, it is important to keep in mind that courts are not biased against fathers.  A judge’s main concern is determining what is in the best interest of a child. If you are seeking to establish paternal rights to a child, it is important to communicate with an experienced attorney who may assist you through this emotionally draining process.  

While it can be overwhelming to navigate the complexities surrounding your rights as a father, seeking the guidance of an experienced New York family law attorney may be crucial to protecting the best interests of your child. Contact the family lawyers at Mangi and Graham. They have extensive experience in negotiating and litigating child support and related matters in both Supreme Court and Family Court and can help you settle your dispute. Call (516) 294-1949 for more information, or contact us to book a free consultation.