Paternity refers to a legal action to establish that a man is the father of a child. Paternity can be voluntarily established by the father through signing a “Paternity Acknowledgment”, generally given to the alleged father either by staff in the hospital or by the mother at the time the child is born. Once signed, a Paternity Acknowledgment will have the same legal effect as a court order. Paternity may also be established by the mother, directly or indirectly, filing an action in Family Court seeking an Order of Filiation.
Once paternity is established by either a Paternity Acknowledgment or by the Court through an Order of Filiation, significant legal and financial responsibilities will result against the alleged father including child support obligations toward the child through his/her 21st birthday, day care expenses, medical and health coverage, education costs and inheritance rights against your estate. In many situations, the total cost of child support and related expenses could easily be several hundred thousand dollars.
Koslosky & Koslosky is experienced in handling paternity cases. There is always a need to be certain before you make a decision that a child is your son or daughter. Contested paternity cases are litigated in court, without a jury. Genetic marker tests and DNA tests, while not conclusive, are given substantial weight by the courts. When test results indicate ninety-five percent (95%) or greater probability of paternity, there is established under law a presumption of paternity which must be rebutted by the person challenging paternity.
You and the child have a legitimate right to know whether you are the biological father. Koslosky & Koslosky will guide you through the complex legal proceedings and fully protect your rights. If you are the father, you will be expected to support the child. If you are not the father, you should not be exploited to support the child.
Recent court decisions have precluded men from attempting to disprove paternity after holding themselves out to the public as being the father of the child as well as developing a relationship with the child for an extended period of time. Equitable Estoppel has been utilized in many cases against men who have discovered they are not the biological father of a child, even in circumstances where the mother has concealed the truth from both the man and child.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at either: (315) 724-5477 or email@example.com. All inquiries are Confidential.