A child’s legal paternity — proving or disproving it — raises some of the most complicated family law issues in New York State. For children born during a marriage there is a “presumption of legitimacy,” so when questions of paternity exist, a maze of law and case law determines the circumstances under which a blood test can be obtained. Only an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate these difficult waters.
Proving or disproving paternity may be of great importance, not only for the child in question, but for the parents. In New York State, the responsibility of a parent to support his or her child continues until the child is 21 years of age, and may include a parent’s responsibility to provide for all or part of the child’s health insurance, child care expenses, and college education, so the amount of money payable over that period for child support can be considerable. And there are even circumstances where even if a husband or father finds out that they could not possibly be the father of the child in question, the courts will not allow a new investigation of the child’s biological paternity if too much time has passed since the child’s birth.
Added to all that are new legal complications involving surrogate parents, and gay couples who either adopt or who use a donor or surrogate. The courts are making law on these paternity issues at a dizzying speed. Your family law attorney should be familiar with the most recent case law. Over the past 21 years, Breiter and Gura has represented many clients on all sides of this complicated issue, and we are ready to use that knowledge to protect your interests in this challenging type of litigation.