As time carries forward, the modern definition of what defines a family changes with it. Unfortunately, the laws pertaining to paternity and parental rights do not change as fast. The slow pace of the law can create problems for parents who had children outside of marriage.
In New York, nearly 20% of children are born out of wedlock, meaning that more and more parents need to know how the law can affect them. Many fathers may not be aware of their rights (or lack of them) in this situation.
Getting the law on your side
If you fathered children out of wedlock and are no longer together with the mother, she can still keep you from seeing your children as long as there is no established paternity. Even though you are the biological father to your children, you will need to go through extra steps to prove paternity if they were born out of wedlock.
An “acknowledgment of parentage” (AOP) is one of the ways that grants the father the same rights they would usually have if he were married to the mother of his children before childbirth. They can also file a petition with the court to determine paternity.
Once a father has established parentage, the mother will not deny the father visitation unless she has other court orders, like a court-ordered custody agreement.
How can you protect your rights
A skilled lawyer can make the difference between whether you can regularly see your kids or not. If you do not have the parental rights you deserve to see your children, contact a family law attorney today. Their experience and guidance can help you see your children when you want swiftly and efficiently.