Long Island Father's Rights Attorneys Safeguard Your Relationship with Your Children
Lawyers in Hauppauge and Garden City handle custody and visitation matters
Traditionally, custody decisions showed a preference toward mothers, but times have changed and family law courts today show a greater appreciation for the presence of a father in a child’s life. At Tabat, Cohen, Blum, Yovino & Diesa, PC in Garden City and Hauppauge, we are strong advocates for fathers in a wide range of legal proceedings. Whether your issue relates to custody and visitation rights, child support or the establishment of legal paternity, our Long Island father’s rights attorneys protect your rights and fight for the results you and your children deserve.
New York laws on paternity and conditions that affect father’s rights
A father’s rights depend on a determination of paternity. If the couple is married at the time a woman becomes pregnant, the law assumes the husband is the father. But when parents are not married, a father must take active steps to establish legal paternity, even if the couple is living together when the woman conceives. A man can establish paternity by:
- Signing an acknowledgment of paternity at the time of the child’s birth
- Obtaining an order of filiation from the court after filing a petition to establish paternity
Once a man has established paternity, he is entitled to seek custody and visitation, and is obligated to provide child support. A father can also have his name placed retroactively on the child’s birth certificate.
It is important to note that a father’s rights traditionally begin at the child’s birth. During pregnancy, the mother is the sole decider in matters related to the child’s health and welfare. However, active involvement with the mother during pregnancy can strengthen a father’s case for custody and visitation rights after birth.
What type of custody and visitation rights can fathers expect in New York?
New York child custody law is written to be gender neutral, so a father could be awarded sole custody, joint custody or visitation. The court’s decision must be based primarily on the best interests of the child. Factors that can help a father gain custody of a child include:
- His ability to act as a primary caregiver
- His ability to provide a suitable residence for the child
- His relationship history with the child and the bonds of affection already established
If a father cannot act as a custodial parent, a court generally awards him visitation rights so he can have frequent, meaningful contact with his child. Interference with visitation and attempts to alienate the child from the father can result in citations for contempt of court and can be grounds for a modification of the custody order. Should a question exist about the father’s character, a court can order supervised visitation or prohibit contact with the child. In such cases, a father has the right to confront accusations against him, and our attorneys advocate strongly on his behalf.
How can a father’s rights get taken away in New York?
There are instances where a mother may wish to terminate a father’s rights. An unwed mother might want to put her child up for adoption. Or, if there is an order of protection issued against the father, she may claim the father is a danger to the child. Courts make these decisions based on the best interests of the child, but without strong representation, a judge might not understand your side of the story. We are committed to protecting a father’s parental rights if they are being threatened.
Contact our experienced father’s rights lawyers on Long Island
Tabat, Cohen, Blum, Yovino & Diesa, PC in Garden City and Hauppauge represents fathers in a wide range of family law matters. To schedule a consultation, please call 631-587-5100 or contact us online.