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Father cannot challenge child’s legitimacy in marriage. Anonymous v. Anonymous, 89 A.D.3d 838 (2d Dep’t 2011)


Establishing paternity in New York is an important legal issue that can have significant consequences for both the child and the parents involved. In many cases, establishing paternity involves determining who the biological father of a child is. In New York, there are several ways to establish paternity, including through genetic testing, an acknowledgement of paternity, or a court order.

However, in cases where a child is born during a marriage, the law presumes that the husband is the legal father of the child. This is known as the presumption of legitimacy. This presumption is based on the public policy to preserve the integrity of the family and to promote stability in family relationships. The presumption can only be overcome in very limited circumstances, such as when the husband can prove that he did not have sexual relations with the mother during the time of conception, or when there is clear and convincing evidence that the husband is not the biological father of the child.

Factual Background
In Anonymous v. Anonymous, the father, who was married to the child’s mother at the time of birth, sought to establish paternity of the child. The mother had an affair during the marriage, and the father suspected that the child was not his biological offspring. The father filed a petition seeking genetic testing to prove his paternity and to disestablish the presumption of legitimacy that applies to children born during a marriage.

The mother opposed the petition, arguing that genetic testing would not be in the best interests of the child. She maintained that the child had no knowledge of the affair or the possibility that the father was not biologically related, and that exposing the child to genetic testing could harm the child emotionally.

Under New York law, there is a presumption of legitimacy when a child is born during a marriage. This means that the law presumes that the husband is the legal father of the child, even if he is not the biological father. This presumption is based on the belief that it is in the best interests of the child to have a stable and secure family relationship. However, this presumption can be challenged if the husband is not the biological father of the child.

In Anonymous v. Anonymous, the court found that the father could not challenge the presumption of legitimacy. The court noted that the father had failed to raise any issues about paternity during the marriage, and had not acted like he did not think he was the biological father until after the marriage had ended. The court also found that the child was born into a stable and loving family environment, and that disrupting that environment would not be in the child’s best interests.

The court further held that the father’s visitation and custody rights could not be established until paternity had been determined. The court also denied the father’s request for genetic testing, as it was not in the best interests of the child.

Generally, in the case of a child born to a married couple, genetic testing is not considered to be in the best interest of the child as it could disrupt the child’s relationship with the presumed father and could have a negative impact on the child’s emotional well-being. Additionally, the child may have already developed a strong bond with the presumed father and disrupting this bond could be detrimental to the child’s development.

Establishing paternity is a complex legal issue that requires the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. In cases where a child is born during a marriage, the presumption of legitimacy can make it difficult to challenge paternity. However, it is possible to establish paternity through genetic testing or a court order. If you are seeking to establish paternity, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. An attorney can help you understand your legal options, file the necessary paperwork, and represent you in court. Contact an experienced New York family law attorney today to learn more about establishing paternity and protecting your rights.

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