New York State Law

Family Court Law

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Part 1 - Article 5 - Family Court

JURISDICTION AND DUTIES TO SUPPORT

Section Description
511 Jurisdiction.
512 Definitions.
513 Obligation of parents.
514 Liability of father to mother.
515 Governmental obligation to child.
516-A Acknowledgment of paternity.
517 Time for instituting proceedings.
518 Effect of death, absence, or mental illness of mother.
519 Effect of death, absence or mental illness of putative father.
  S 511. Jurisdiction. Except as otherwise provided, the family court
  has  exclusive  original  jurisdiction  in  proceedings   to   establish
  paternity  and,  in  any such proceedings in which it makes a finding of
  paternity, to order  support  and  to  make  orders  of  custody  or  of
  visitation,  as  set forth in this article. On its own motion, the court
  may at any time in the proceedings also direct the filing of  a  neglect
  petition  in  accord  with the provisions of article ten of this act. In
  accordance with the provisions of section one hundred  eleven-b  of  the
  domestic  relations law, the surrogate's court has original jurisdiction
  concurrent with the family court to determine the issues relating to the
  establishment of paternity.

  S 512.  Definitions. When used in this article,
    (a)  The  phrase  "child born out of wedlock" refers to a child who is
  begotten and born out of lawful matrimony.
    (b) The word "child" refers to a child born out of wedlock.
    (c) The word "mother" refers to the mother of  a  child  born  out  of
  wedlock.
    (d)   The  word  "father"  refers  to  the  father  of  a  child  born
  out-of-wedlock.

  S 513. Obligation of parents. Subject to the provisions of paragraph
  (f) of subdivision six of section  three  hundred  ninety-eight  of  the
  social  services  law,  each  parent  of  a child born out of wedlock is
  chargeable with the support of such child including the child's  funeral
  expenses  and,  if  possessed  of  sufficient means or able to earn such
  means, shall be required to pay child support. A  court  shall  make  an
  award  for  child  support  pursuant  to subdivision one of section four
  hundred thirteen of this act.

  S 514. Liability  of  father to mother. The father is liable for the
  reasonable expenses of the mother's confinement and  recovery  and  such
  reasonable  expenses  in  connection with her pregnancy as determined by
  the court; provided, however, where the mother's  confinement,  recovery
  and  expenses  in  connection  with  her  pregnancy  were paid under the
  medical assistance program on the mother's behalf,  the  father  may  be
  liable   to   the  social  services  district  furnishing  such  medical
  assistance and to the state department of health for medical  assistance
  so  expended. Such expenses, including such expenses paid by the medical
  assistance program on the mother's behalf, shall be deemed cash  medical
  support  and  the court shall determine the obligation of the parties to
  contribute  to  the  cost  thereof  pursuant  to  subparagraph  five  of
  paragraph  (c)  of  subdivision  one of section four hundred thirteen of
  this act.

  S 515. Governmental  obligation  to child. In case of the neglect or
  inability of the parents to provide for the support and education of the
  child, it shall be supported by the  county,  city  or  town  chargeable
  therewith under the provisions of the social welfare law.

  S 516-a. Acknowledgment  of  paternity.  (a)  An  acknowledgment  of
  paternity executed pursuant to  section  one  hundred  eleven-k  of  the
  social  services  law or section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b
  of the public health law shall establish the paternity of and  liability
  for  the  support  of  a child pursuant to this act. Such acknowledgment
  must be reduced to writing and filed pursuant to section  four  thousand
  one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law with the registrar of
  the  district  in  which  the  birth  occurred  and  in  which the birth
  certificate has  been  filed.  No  further  judicial  or  administrative
  proceedings  are  required  to  ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of
  paternity.
    (b) (i) Where a signatory to an acknowledgment of  paternity  executed
  pursuant  to  section one hundred eleven-k of the social services law or
  section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law
  had attained the age of  eighteen  at  the  time  of  execution  of  the
  acknowledgment,  the signatory may seek to rescind the acknowledgment by
  filing a petition with the court to vacate the acknowledgment within the
  earlier of sixty days of the date of signing the acknowledgment  or  the
  date  of  an administrative or a judicial proceeding (including, but not
  limited to, a proceeding to establish a support order) relating  to  the
  child  in  which the signatory is a party. For purposes of this section,
  the "date of an administrative or a judicial proceeding"  shall  be  the
  date by which the respondent is required to answer the petition.
    (ii)  Where  a  signatory  to  an acknowledgment of paternity executed
  pursuant to section one hundred eleven-k of the social services  law  or
  section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law
  had  not  attained  the  age of eighteen at the time of execution of the
  acknowledgment, the signatory may seek to rescind the acknowledgment  by
  filing a petition with the court to vacate the acknowledgment anytime up
  to  sixty days after the signatory's attaining the age of eighteen years
  or sixty days after the date on which  the  respondent  is  required  to
  answer  a  petition  (including,  but  not  limited  to,  a  petition to
  establish a support order) relating to the child in which the  signatory
  is  a party, whichever is earlier; provided, however, that the signatory
  must have been advised at such proceeding of his or her right to file  a
  petition  to  vacate the acknowledgment within sixty days of the date of
  such proceeding.
    (iii) Where a petition to vacate an acknowledgment  of  paternity  has
  been filed in accordance with paragraph (i) or (ii) of this subdivision,
  the  court  shall  order  genetic  marker  tests  or  DNA  tests for the
  determination of the child's paternity. No such test shall  be  ordered,
  however,  upon a written finding by the court that it is not in the best
  interests of the child on the basis of res judicata, equitable estoppel,
  or the presumption of legitimacy of a child born to a married woman.  If
  the court determines, following the test, that the person who signed the
  acknowledgment  is  the  father  of  the  child,  the court shall make a
  finding of paternity and enter an  order  of  filiation.  If  the  court
  determines  that  the  person  who  signed the acknowledgment is not the
  father of the child, the acknowledgment shall be vacated.
    (iv) After the expiration of the time limits set forth  in  paragraphs
  (i)  and  (ii)  of  this  subdivision,  any  of  the  signatories  to an
  acknowledgment of paternity may challenge the acknowledgment in court by
  alleging and proving fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact. If  the
  petitioner  proves to the court that the acknowledgment of paternity was
  signed under fraud, duress, or due to a material mistake  of  fact,  the
  court  shall  then  order  genetic  marker  tests  or  DNA tests for the
  determination of the child's paternity. No such test shall  be  ordered,
  however,  upon a written finding by the court that it is not in the best
  interests of the child on the basis of res judicata, equitable estoppel,
  or the presumption of legitimacy of a child born to a married woman.  If
  the court determines, following the test, that the person who signed the
  acknowledgment  is  the  father  of  the  child,  the court shall make a
  finding of paternity and enter an  order  of  filiation.  If  the  court
  determines  that  the  person  who  signed the acknowledgment is not the
  father of the child, the acknowledgment shall be vacated.
    (v) If, at any time before or after a signatory has filed  a  petition
  to  vacate  an acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to this subdivision,
  the signatory dies or becomes mentally ill or cannot be found within the
  state, neither the proceeding nor the right to commence  the  proceeding
  shall  abate  but  may  be  commenced or continued by any of the persons
  authorized by this article to commence a paternity proceeding.
    (c) Neither signatory's legal obligations,  including  the  obligation
  for  child  support  arising  from  the acknowledgment, may be suspended
  during the challenge to the acknowledgment except for good cause as  the
  court  may  find.  If the court vacates the acknowledgment of paternity,
  the court shall immediately provide a copy of the order to the registrar
  of the district in which the child's birth certificate is filed and also
  to the putative father registry operated by  the  department  of  social
  services  pursuant  to section three hundred seventy-two-c of the social
  services law. In addition, if the mother of the child who is the subject
  of the acknowledgment is in receipt of child support  services  pursuant
  to  title  six-A  of article three of the social services law, the court
  shall immediately provide a copy of  the  order  to  the  child  support
  enforcement  unit  of  the  social  services  district that provides the
  mother with such services.
    (d) A determination of paternity made  by  any  other  state,  whether
  established  through an administrative or judicial process or through an
  acknowledgment of paternity signed in accordance with that state's laws,
  must be accorded full faith and credit pursuant to section 466(a)(11) of
  title IV-D of the social security act (42 U.S.C. S 666(a)(11)).

  S 517. Time for instituting proceedings. Proceedings to establish the
  paternity of a child may be  instituted  during  the  pregnancy  of  the
  mother  or  after the birth of the child, but shall not be brought after
  the child reaches the age of twenty-one years, unless paternity has been
  acknowledged by the father in writing or by furnishing support.

  S 518. Effect of death, absence, or mental illness of mother. If, at
  any time before or after a petition is filed, the mother dies or becomes
  mentally ill or cannot be found within the state, neither the proceeding
  nor the right  to  commence  the  proceeding  shall  abate  but  may  be
  commenced  or continued by any of the persons authorized by this article
  to commence a paternity proceeding.

  S 519. Effect of death, absence or mental illness of putative father.
  If, at any time before or after a petition if filed, the putative father
  dies, or becomes mentally ill or  cannot  be  found  within  the  state,
  neither  the  proceeding  nor the right to commence the proceeding shall
  necessarily abate but may be  commenced  or  continued  by  any  of  the
  persons  authorized  by  this article to commence a paternity proceeding
  where:
    (a)  the  putative  father  was  the  petitioner  in   the   paternity
  proceeding; or,
    (b)  the  putative  father acknowledged paternity of the child in open
  court; or,
    (c) a genetic marker or DNA test had been administered to the putative
  father prior to his death; or,
    (d) the putative father has openly and  notoriously  acknowledged  the
  child as his own.

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