Choose an Experienced Fathers’ Rights Lawyer in Queens
New York courts make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. Today’s courts do not automatically presume that mothers should receive full child custody. However, fathers may find themselves facing additional hurdles to prove and enforce their parental rights.
Fathers’ Rights in New York
Establishing paternity is the initial step in protecting the rights of fathers during divorce and custody hearings.
If two adults are married at the time a child is born, they are legally viewed as the child’s parents. However, if a child is born to an unwed couple, it’s essential to document paternity legally.
When a child’s biological mother and father agree on the father’s paternity, all parties may sign an acknowledgment of paternity statement.
Should the biological mother and presumed father of a child disagree on paternity, or paternity is not known, genetic testing may be required as part of a court petition. Once paternity is established, the issues an “Order of Filiation.” At this time, the father may be added to a child’s birth certificate and exercise his parental rights.
Stepfathers or other parental figures may be awarded these rights through legal adoption.
Legally recognized fathers can be entitled to varying degrees of child custody, child support and visitation.
Fathers’ Rights to Custody and Visitation
New York courts must consider multiple factors in determining custody and visitation arrangements for minor children. Fathers may be eligible for sole or joint legal and physical custody.
- Legal custody gives fathers shared or total responsibility for decisions about a child’s health and wellbeing. This responsibility may include decisions related to education, medical care and religion.
- Physical custody gives fathers shared or total responsibility for the daily, in-person care of a child.
Fathers awarded less than 50% of joint custody may be eligible for visitation rights. A reputable New York fathers’ rights lawyer can advocate for your right to a relationship with your child.
Fathers’ Rights to Child Support
New York requires parents to provide monetary support and health insurance for children under the age of 21. Parents do not need to be married, separated or divorced to qualify for and be required to provide child support.
If a father is the primary custodial parent, he may be entitled to child support from the mother. Financial responsibility is determined by evaluating several factors, including but not limited to:
- Available parental income
- Both parents’ non-monetary contributions to care
- Children’s educational needs
- Children’s emotional needs
- Special needs
Fathers who believe they are entitled to support, or seek to change the terms of an existing child support agreement, should contact a New York family law expert.
How a New York Fathers’ Rights Lawyer Can Help
If you are a father seeking to verify paternity, gain custody or visitation, or get the child support you may be entitled to, FK Law Group can help. Our team of fathers’ rights attorneys in Queens are experienced in advocating for the best interests of parents and minor children.