Whether you are going through a divorce, petitioning to modify a custody order, pursuing child support or establishing parentage, DNA testing is an effective way of removing all argument or doubt. Once paternity is established, the information can be used for visitation, adoption, inheritance, custody, health care and other relevant matters.
As fair and equitable treatment has become an expected norm in society and in the workplace, it seemed an obvious imbalance existed between men and women when it came to their role as fathers and mothers. Mothers have traditionally been given unquestioned time off for maternity leave and in many places, it is paid. But fathers were not given the same courtesy. As parents, this can present a real challenge. If the father is needed at home he may be allowed to go, but he may not be paid during the time. Now a new family or a family with a new addition experiences added financial challenges while handling the sleep deprivation and other obstacles that adjusting to a newborn bring.
While New York state laws indicate that fathers have equal parenting rights, this may not always be the case. It is common to hear about fathers who may not take responsibility for the well-being of their child, or in some cases, even acknowledge a child as their own. However, there are many fathers who are willing to fight diligently for their parental rights, and sometimes feel they have to take on the world to get them. A first step in protecting your rights as a father is to prove paternity. In New York, a child is deemed to have no legal father if the couple are unmarried at the time of the child's birth. This means that the father has no rights until paternity is established.
The birth of a child should be a joyful event in a man’s life, but if he is not married to the mother, there are some legal hoops he must jump through to be considered the infant’s legal father in New York.
A court decision in Pennsylvania will not directly affect the law here in New York State, but it could influence a judge’s reasoning someday. At the very least, the outcome of this case could be food for thought for parents and stepparents in Buffalo.
Of course, few divorces are rancor-free, but in extreme cases, the spouses cannot get along well enough to co-parent once the proceedings are over. Probably the worst cases are when divorced parents use the children as pawns to “get back” at their exes.
Though parents of either gender can be granted sole child custody during divorce, more often it seems that courts order custody for mothers, with fathers retaining visitation rights. This may be one reason we hear the term “deadbeat dads” more often than “deadbeat moms” or the more gender-neutral “deadbeat parents” when it comes to the subject of falling behind on child support.
Modern technology has opened up possibilities for numerous people in New York who want to have children, but are unable to for medical reasons. Successful procedures may involve the couple seeking a child to receive sperm, eggs or both from third parties. In other cases, a woman carries the infant to term for the parents.
When two parents are constantly fighting with one another, the children are the ones who suffer. For parents currently going through a divorce or breakup, it is important to keep this fact top of mind when moving forward as co-parents.
Just because your marriage is over does not mean you are done being a mother or father. Most divorcing parents in Buffalo want to continue to help raise their children. This can mean joint custody, or sharing in taking care of the kids.