A mother of a child wanted to have the potential, or putative, father declared the legal father. While the couple had already taken a paternity test, this was a private paternity test. The test found the putative father to be the real father with 99.99% likelihood according to the New York Law Journal. For the court to recognize the man as the father, he would have to complete a court-ordered paternity test. The reason the mother wanted to establish paternity was so that she could get sole legal and physical custody of the child. Legal custody deals with decision-making powers for the child and physical custody deals with living arrangements. She could not be granted this until paternity was officially determined.

The court decided to throw out the paternity part of this case. There was already another paternity petition in another state, Florida, which the judge decided would be where the paternity would be determined.

On the other hand, despite the father’s petition, the custody case was not dismissed. If paternity were established, then the court could move forward with the custody case. If the father did not submit or complete a paternity test, then the mother would automatically be granted both physical and legal custody of the child. The judge decided that the custody hearing should take place in the New York court. The court also decided that the putative father was to “answer the custody petition [from the mother] and appear for further proceedings.” In other words, the custody case must at the very least get underway.

If you are seeking to establish paternity of your child or if you would like to set up a child custody and visitation arrangement, then you should speak to a qualified attorney. Jayson Lutzky practices in the areas of divorce and family law. He has over 31 years of legal experience in New York. Mr. Lutzky offers free in person consultations in his Bronx office. Call 718-514-6619 to set up a consultation. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com for the latest updates on the law.