Child Custody Representation for Unmarried Parents in New York

Family law attorneys assert parental rights

Parenthood comes with rights and obligations, even when the parents are not married. If you are an unwed parent of either sex, you may be confused about your legal standing. If you want to assert your right to a meaningful relationship with your child, or the child’s right to financial support from a biological parent, we can help. Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. is Long Island’s largest and busiest law firm dedicated exclusively to family law and divorce. We have extensive experience in paternity, child custody and child support litigation, and we work tirelessly to deliver the best results possible.

How New York paternity law affects unwed couples

When a couple is married, there is a legal presumption that the husband is the father of all children born during the marriage. However, when a couple is not married, even if they cohabitate, there is no such presumption. An unmarried father must assert paternity by signing a voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity and filing it with the child’s birth certificate, or petitioning the court to establish paternity, usually through a DNA test. A man who has established paternity is the legal father of the child and has the same rights and responsibilities he would have if he’d fathered the child while married to the mother.

A determination of paternity is necessary in various situations:

  • A legal father wants visitation or custody of a child.
  • An unwed mother wants child support payments from the father.
  • An unwed mother wants to terminate the biological father’s rights to clear the way for an adoption.
  • A child wants the right to inherit from the father.
  • An unwed mother wants information about the father’s medical history that may be important to the child’s health and welfare.

At Salamone & Associates, our attorneys fight for unmarried fathers’ rights to child custody, and mothers’ rights to adequate child support. Since New York’s custody laws are gender neutral, a father’s marital status should not prevent him from obtaining full custody if that is in the best interests of the child. Finally, even though same-sex marriage is now legal in New York, same-sex couples often have complex custody issues, especially when one is a biological parent and the other is not recognized as an adoptive parent.

Contact our experienced Long Island attorneys for your child custody issues.

Unmarried parents need knowledgeable attorneys who can give them accurate advice and take decisive steps to protect their rights. For child custody and all your contentious family law issues, you can trust Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 1.631.479.3839 or contact our office online.