So, you've received a request for genetic testing as part of a paternity dispute. Do you have to submit? What happens if you don't? Those are the questions we're here to answer.
For help with your paternity case, contact us online or via phone at (718) 215-0121.
When Do Paternity Tests Happen?
In New York, paternity tests typically occur after a child is born to parents who are not married. In New York, if a man has a child with an unmarried partner, he will not be considered that child's legal father, meaning he will lack the parental rights given to fathers in the state.
Sometimes, mothers file paternity cases to establish parenthood so that a child's father has the right to visit their child and pay for child support. In other cases, the father may file a paternity case to gain those same rights.
Regardless, there are usually two major outcomes to paternity cases:
- The father gains custody and visitation rights, meaning they can visit their child and spend time with them; and
- The father may be responsible for paying child support to the mother to support the child's best interests.
How Do Paternity Cases Work in New York
In New York, parties can choose to self-represent during paternity tests (meaning they appear in court without the counsel of an attorney), or hire attorneys to give them counsel and advocate for them in court.
In paternity cases where the court can locate the alleged father, both parties will be ordered to appear before a Support Magistrate. How the case continues depends on whether the alleged father admits to paternity or not.
If he does, the court may formalize the alleged father's paternity, making him the legal father of the child involved in the case.
If he does not, the court may order a DNA or blood test of the mother, child, and alleged father. Since this is a court order, the parties must comply or face legal penalties. If the tests show that the man is indeed the child's biological father, the court will issue an Order of Filiation and finalize the father's parental rights and award him legal parenthood.
At Levi Divorce & Family Law Attorneys, our team can help you navigate your paternity case. Contact us online or via phone at (718) 215-0121 to learn more.