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I live in NY and wanted to know about my parental rights. I am married and had an indiscretion.

Bayshore, NY |

The woman ended up getting pregnant. She is single and is choosing to keep the baby. She told me since I do not want to be involved she wants nothing to do with me. She says she is going to not put my name down on the birth certificate. Does that mean I do not need to relinquish my parental rights to her since I will not be listed as the father? Also, I have agreed to help on some expenses. Is it legal to create a confidentiality agreement between her and I that states I will provide an agreed upon amount of financial aid as long as she states unknown on the birth certificate and does not disclose this situation publically.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

You need to sit down with a matrimonial lawyer. This situation raises a lot of issues, not really appropriate for a message board.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com

Posted

There are two issues that need to be dealt with here.

First is the question of your contact with your child. As a natural parent, you have an absolute right to be a part of the child's life.

The child has an absolute right to support from you. Even if your name is not on birth certificate, she can institute an action for support at any time and once you paternity is established, you are obligated to pay support.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the answer...maybe I was not too clear. I am choosing not to have contact with the child. That is what she wants. I am not trrying to get out of child support. She wants help with daycare and I agreed to help financially. She is not sure of the costs yet since she is only a month pregnant. So for example, lets say she needs $5000 a year for 4 years. I am willing to give her $20k up front to cover these costs. so based on these hypothetical numbers, is it then possible to create an agreement?

Lori Noel Bovee

Lori Noel Bovee

Posted

You can create a child support agreement, which she may have incorporated into a court order. However, child support goes until the age of 21 in new york and will be based on your income (typically 17% of your gross less fica taxes). Additionally, it would be wise to have a DNA test to make sure it is your child. I would advise consulting with a local family law attorney.

Asker

Posted

I understand that it technically goes until age 21, but she is not asking for that. She is just asking for help with daycare. If she didnt need any help she would not ask for any money. Do I have to pay her until age 21 even if she doesnt want it?

Lori Noel Bovee

Lori Noel Bovee

Posted

Assuming she is not on public assistance, no she can waive it. However, if she does go on public assistance, DSS will have her name the father and go after you for child support.

Lori Noel Bovee

Lori Noel Bovee

Posted

Also, in order for your child support agreement and/or waiver to be valid, it must comply with the Child Support Standards Act which requires certains recitations and reasons for deviations to be made. Otherwise, it is unenforceable. Because of that, I highly recommend that it is drawn up by a family law attorney.

Asker

Posted

Hi Lori, thanks for the responses. I sent you an email.

Posted

Whether she puts your name on the birth certificate or not is irrelevant. Your can initiate a paternity case if you want to have a role in the child's life and she can do the same to get child support. Those are absolute and you can not relinquish your parental rights and avoid child support. See a Family Law attorney to get more advice.

The above is a general answer and is not considered legal advice. You should contact an attorney before proceeding to take any legal action, signing any papers or upon service of a summons. Howard E. Knispel 631-864-7589

Posted

The fact that she does not disclose your name on the birth certificate does not negate the fact that you are the child's father, if in fact you are. If you want to be a part of the child's life, file a paternity petition establishing that you are the father and then file a petition for custody/visitation. She cannot prevent you form being in the child's life. As for a confidentiality agreement, sure the two of you can do that without a problem. However, entering into an agreement does not preclude her from filing family court petitions down the road, if she wants to do that.

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