Asked in Family Law and Child Support for New York

Q: What if I’m not sure I’m the father?

I live in NJ and got a letter from the NY courts for child support, but I’m not sure if I’m the father; I don’t even know the child and she’s already 4 years old, I have court on August, what should I do? And what are my rights ?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer

Joseph H. Nivin

PREMIUM
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Sorry to hear that you are going through this. If you were married to the mother at the time of birth or conception, you signed an acknowledgement of paternity (the paper given to you at the hospital where you say that you are the father), or if you registered with the Putative Father Registry, then you are legally the child's father, regardless of biology. If none of the above are true, then you can seek a DNA test, unless there has already been a court order stating that you are the father, or you have already developed a father-child relationship.

If you are the legal father, or you are found to be the legal father, then what is called basic child support (child support that is meant to help pay for the child's basic needs) will be based upon your income. In addition to the basic child support, you will have to pay a percentage of the child's unreimbursed medical expenses and child care, so long as the child care is necessary for the mother to work or go to school. Additionally, you may, under certain circumstances, be ordered to pay for a percentage of the child's educational expenses (usually private school tuition).

Hope this helps.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.