Paternity, Child and Spousal Support
In the State of New York, if a child is born to married parents, there is a rebuttable presumption that the Child is “of the marriage” and that the Husband is the Father. When parties are not married, the biological father is not presumptively recognized as the legal Father upon birth of the Child. Issues of paternity can arise in a divorce action where the Husband is not in fact the Father, or in cases where the parties are not married simply as paternity may not have been established at birth (which involves both parties filling out forms and filing those forms with the Department of Health). Where parties are not married, paternity must be established before an order of child support or visitation/custody will be entertained. As such, establishing paternity is a crucial first step in the legal process.