If you do not have a husband but have a child, then there is no legal presumption as to who the father of the child is. The lack of such a presumption makes it necessary to prove who the father is if you want your child’s father to have both the rights and responsibilities associated with legal paternity of your child. Sometimes, this can be an uphill battle, especially if the child’s biological father does not want to be in the family picture, and will use any means necessary to prevent it from happening.
Whether you want to establish your child’s paternity or not is up to you, and can be a very emotional decision. However, if it is something that you decide you want to do, then there are ways to prove that even the most unwilling man is your child’s father.
Paternity Suits Can Establish Paternity Involuntarily
If your child’s father does not want to be proven to be the child’s father, they will likely take steps to distance themselves from you and the child, making it difficult to make them voluntarily and officially acknowledge his relationship to the child. If this is the case, then a paternity suit can compel him to come to court and submit to DNA testing. If he does not show up at the court date, then the court can issue a default judgment against him, naming him as the child’s father because of his absence.
If the Child’s Interests Are to Not Have a DNA Test, It Will Not be Done
An interesting wrinkle in the picture of paternity suits under New York family law is that, if it is determined that it is not in the child’s interests to have a DNA test done, then the court will prevent one from happening.
This can happen if there is someone who has held himself out to be the child’s father, supporting him psychologically and financially. If someone else – whether it be you, the child, or someone else outside of the family unit – requests a DNA test, the court might not allow it to happen because of the impact that the results might have on the child. This is called “equitable estoppel,” and will result in the man holding himself out to be the child’s father being legally determined to be the parent of the child.
Contact Our Syracuse Family Law Attorneys For Help
If you are considering whether to involuntarily show that someone is the father of your child, contact the Bombardo Law Office, P.C. at (315) 488-5544 or online.