Fathers’ Rights

The team at Picarello & Saciolo, PLLC. is a client-focused law firm, and we are dedicated to each and every case. We are well-respected in the community and by the bar association for our work in matrimonial and family law, criminal defense, and appeals.

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As a Father, You DO Have Rights…

Unfortunately, with divorce or any other relationship breakup, fathers’ rights is a topic often questioned and misunderstood. The short answer though (and good for fathers), is that fathers have the same legal rights as mothers, as the Courts are tasked with focusing primarily on the child’s or children’s best interest.

However, often times old traditions and prejudices can make it feel like fathers are at a disadvantage, which is why the decision that you make as to who should represent your legal interests becomes all the more important. We have secured countless fathers with either equal or full custody due to our unique strategic approach to these matters, so call our office today for a free consultation to see how we can help you.


While we represent mothers, fathers, and all family members in various family matters, at Picarello & Saciolo, P.C., we are also strong advocates for fathers’ rights and strive to help fathers facing legal issues related to paternity. With our extensive experience in this field, we not only guide you, but can help you gain the outcome you desire and rightfully deserve in your paternity matters. These issues can be quite complex and a qualified attorney with the profound experience that we possess can greatly affect the outcome of your case.

In New York State, paternity may be established between unmarried parents by an Acknowledgment of Paternity, which the father would sign at the hospital when the child is born, or by an Order of Filiation, which is a court order declaring a man to be a child’s legal father. When a child is born to a married woman, her husband is then considered to be the child’s legal father unless the court decides otherwise following a complicated legal doctrine known as estoppel. Paternity is a very serious issue when fathers’ rights are concerned; therefore, it’s highly recommended, or even imperative, that the father is represented in the best possible way if an issue were to arise – whether it’s fighting to prove he is the father or fighting to prove he is not. This can also be a very emotional time and not something you should go through alone.

What if the “father” hasn’t signed an Acknowledgement of Paternity?

If a man and a woman who are not married have a child together, but the man does not sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity and/or an Order of Filiation has not been entered by the court, the man does not have any responsibility for that child, including child support, and also has no rights for custody or visitation.

How can we establish paternity?

In NYS, paternity may be established by filing a Paternity Petition, filed in Family Court and served upon the respondent. A man who believes he is the father of the child may file the Paternity Petition and so may the child’s mother, the child, or even the child’s guardian. After the petition is filed, a series of hearings may occur to determine paternity. Private DNA tests are NOT evidence in these hearings, rather, the Court must order such a test to be performed by a lab utilized by the Court system. However, If both the mother and father admits paternity, additional hearings and DNA tests will likely no longer be necessary and an Order of Filiation can be entered. Again, we understand this can be a very difficult, confusing, emotional and often overwhelming time so retaining an experienced attorney can change the entire outcome of not only your case, but your life and the life of the child. 

Fathers have rights just as much today as mothers do so it’s extremely important, even vital, for you to understand your rights. In addition to establishing paternity, there may be several more issues down the road that you need to understand. Luckily for fathers, there’s more rights than ever today as our world and society evolves and children are put first. Fathers’ rights can include a father’s right to parenting time with his children, the right to time off from work to raise the child, the right to be consulted before adoption and many others. “Co-parenting” and visitation are other common matters and we, at the office of Picarello & Saciolo, PLLC. are highly educated and skilled in all of these areas. Call us today for a complimentary, 30 minute consultation to discuss your particular situation. Call now at 631-392-4949 or contact us by email.

Without a court order, a mother cannot keep her child or children away from their father, and to get that court order, she needs to prove a justifiable cause, i.e. is the father abusing drugs? Abusing the child? Can she prove neglect or that the child or children are in danger in his care? Dads in New York have the right to see their children and there’s no denying the important role they play in their child’s life. 

Child custody is often the most difficult and important issue that a father will face in the event of a divorce or separation. Years ago, fathers’ rights really did not exist and mothers generally gained full custody of their children, even in situations when the father could’ve provided a better, safer and more loving home environment. Thanks have changed. NY courts understand that the well-being of the child or children come first. Decisions involving child custody must be based upon the best interests of the child; however, fathers’ rights lawyers are still necessary to help secure that the father is given the same, equal consideration as the mother in any child custody or visitation matter.

Remember, both parents have rights. Because child custody matters are highly dependent on individual circumstances, any parent, father or mother, concerned about child custody should contact an experienced New York family law firm to discuss their legal options. We, at Picarello & Saciolo, PLLC. deal with issues just like these on a daily basis and are happy to speak with you today. For more information on child custody, visit here

Child support is another important matter that needs to be addressed and taken care of when facing a divorce or separation from the relationship. Just as most other legal matters, this is based on individual circumstances such as who has custody of the child, how much money each parent makes, agreements that are made between the mother and father themselves, (when possible), etc… Because of the complexity of these situations, it is imperative that you have a skilled, knowledgeable and aggressive attorney on your side, fighting on your behalf, and for the well-being of the child or children. 

Until a child is legally old enough to provide for themselves, it is equally the responsibility of both parents to provide not only physically and emotionally, but from a legal standpoint, it is both parents’ responsibility to provide financially for their child. Divorce and separation is hard enough on the children. You don’t want them to suffer any more than they already have and need to ensure that they still properly taken care of by both parents.

Usually child support is determined based off of a set formula; however, specific child support amounts will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. To start, subtract social security and NYC taxes to determine combined parental income. The following are basic child support calculations. Keep in mind that these may vary depending on your particular situation and the needs of the child. As mentioned already, each situation is unique and this is another reason why a proper, experienced and aggressive attorney that will fight for you and your children’s rights is so crucial.

  • 1 child – 17% of combined parental income
  • 2 children – 25% of combined parental income
  • 3 children – 29% of combined parental income
  • 4 children – 31% of combined parental income
  • 5 + children – 35% of combined parental income

For more information, please visit our “Child Support” page. There is a lot more to understand and we understand this can be overwhelming so please call our office today and we’d be happy to discuss your own, personal situation.

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(631) 392-4949

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