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Paternity

When a child is born to a married couple, the husband is automatically considered to be the legal father of the child. However, when a child born to parents not married to each other, the father is not considered the child’s legal father until he has signed an Acknowledgement of Paternity.

An Acknowledgement of Paternity is a legally-binding declaration completed at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth, indicating that the father accepts both legal and financial responsibility for the child. If the father chooses not to acknowledge paternity, he is under no obligation to pay child support, nor does he have any legal right to custody of, or any type of visitation with the child.

Seeking Child Support

Once a child is born, an in those cases where a father has not claimed his rights to the child, should the mother choose to seek child support, she must pursue the matter in Family Court. By doing so, the mother may petition the court to have the biological father either admit or deny that he is the father. Alternately, if the father who has previously not acknowledged paternity wishes to become involved with the child, he may also petition the court to have paternity established.

During court proceedings, should the father admit that he is the biological father of the child, an Order of Filiation is entered. This particular court order is equivalent to the Acknowledgement of Paternity typically done in the hospital. The parties can then move on to establish a child support order and determine custody and visitation of the child. However, should paternity be denied, a Support Magistrate will order genetic testing be done on both parties and the child. These tests cannot absolutely prove that the man is the father, but can either exclude him, or show the percentage of probability that he is in fact the biological father. Once testing is completed and should the father still contest paternity, the matter would be set for trial before a judge.

Given the complexity of the various orders and Family Court appearances, many wonder if legal representation is required. As will all personal issues regarding family law, we encourage the support from an experienced attorney who can advise of your rights and those of your child, as well as support you though the process. The knowledgeable attorneys at Marnell Law Group are committed to determining what is best for you and your child. Through our Client Centered- Client Focused Care® approach, we make ourselves available 24 hours a day, 7 –days a week, to provide the support needed to each and every one of our clients. 

Why Our Law Office?

As no two people are alike, neither are any two families, or legal matters involving family situations

Consultation and Fees

Most experienced matrimonial attorneys charge a consultation fee. 

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Memberships and Affilations

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers • Associate Editor, Nassau Lawyer • Attorney/Accountant Networking Group (AANG) • Attorney Round Table (ART) • California Bar Association • East Meadow Chamber of Commerce • Florida Bar Association • Florida Bar Family Law Section • Huntington Lawyers Club • Jewish Lawyers Association of Nassau County • Melville Chamber of Commerce • Nassau County Bar Association • Nassau County Bar Child Custody Sub-Committee - Past Chairperson • Nassau County Bar Matrimonial Committee • Nassau County Bar Speaker Panel • Nassau County Bar Association Board of Directors • Nevada Bar Association • New York Family Law American Inn of Court • New York State Bar Association • New York State Bar Association Family Law Legislative Sub-Committee • New York State Bar Family Law Section • Past Member - Board of Directors - Bellmore Chamber of Commerce • Past President - Kiwanis Club of the Bellmores • Pulse Magazine's Top Legal Eagles • St. Anthony's Fathers Guild • Suffolk County Bar Association • Suffolk County Bar Matrimonial Committee

Russell I. Marnell, P.C.
Locations

East Meadow Office
90 Merrick Avenue, Suite 400
East Meadow, NY 11554

Smithtown Office
180 East Main Street, Suite 308
Smithtown, NY 11787

Please direct all inquiries to the East Meadow office

Phone

516-542-9000

THE DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS OF THE LAW OFFICE OF RUSSELL I. MARNELL, P.C. CONCENTRATE THEIR PRACTICE IN COMPLEX DIVORCE, CUSTODY AND ALL AREAS OF FAMILY LAW THROUGHOUT NASSAU COUNTY, SUFFOLK COUNTY AND THE LONG ISLAND , NEW YORK METRO, QUEENS, WESTCHESTER,
MANHATTAN AND BROOKLYN.