“I am the father of my five month old son. What is the first step I should take to obtain sole custody?”

In New York, first, you must legally establish your paternity rights. If you were not married to your child’s mother, at the time the child was born, additional action may be required to establish paternity. Paternity proceedings can become complicated. Under certain circumstances, it is wise to consult a divorce lawyer buffalo ny

That being said, to establish paternity, some people sign an acknowledgment of paternity at the hospital when the child is born. An Acknowledgment of Paternity is a paper, generally completed at the hospital at the time of a child’s birth, where the mother and father stipulate that the man signing the paper is the father of the child. An Acknowledgment of Paternity is the equivalent to an Order of Filiation and will permit a hospital or Department of Health to name the man as the child’s father on the birth certificate.

If paternity was not established at the hospital, you will need to start a Paternity case by filing a Paternity Petition in New York Family Court in your local court. Generally, the child’s mother and father will acknowledge to the judge, referee, or hearing examiner that the man named in the Paternity petition is in fact the child’s father. If there is a dispute, the parties may have to submit evidence to resolve the dispute. The judge, referee, or hearing examiner may order DNA tests on the mother, father, and child for more evidence. DNA is a body chemical that everyone has. By reviewing the DNA information of the people in the case, the court can decide whether the man named in the court papers is actually the child’s father.

Once paternity is established, the next step is to file a petition with a family court in New York for custody.

For more questions, contact a criminal lawyer buffalo ny or divorce lawyer buffalo ny and schedule a free consultation.

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