Child Support and Paternity in Westchester County Family Courts

Experienced Westchester Family Court Attorneys for White Plains, New Rochelle and Yonkers, NY

The Westchester County Family Courts are located in White Plain, NY, New Rochelle, NY and Yonkers, NY. Depending on your residence, you will be assigned to one of these courts for the determination of your Family Court matter.

The Westchester Family Courts are responsible for handling all matters involving families and children except for divorce, separation and annulment which are handled by the Westchester Supreme Court. The most frequently filed cases in the Westchester Family Courts are the one involving custody/visitation, paternity and child support.

Establishing Paternity in Child Support Cases | Westchester County Family Courts

In many cases, child support proceedings are commenced by the filing of a Paternity Petition seeking a DNA or genetic marker test (GMT) to determine the biological father of the child. When a significant time has passed since the birth of the child, where someone else has signed the birth certificate or acted as the father of the child, or in circumstances where the father has been misled, a respondent-father will undoubtedly raise the legal defense of "equitable estoppel."

Equitable Estoppel is a legal doctrine that is used to prevent the enforcement of a mother's rights for child support against the alleged father if the enforcement of those rights would serve to work fraud or injustice upon the alleged father and the father has been misled by the words or conduct of the mother into believing that enforcement would not be sought. While equitable estoppel may be raised as a defense to a paternity petition, it is not an absolute defense and there are factors that Family Courts must consider even if the father is successful in raising the defense.

First, the court must consider the possible traumatic effect that terminating an existing parent-child relationship would have on the child. Second, the court must safeguard the welfare, stability and best interests of the child in protecting the legitimacy of the child. Additional factors that often are considered in determining the best interests of the child include: the presumption of legitimacy, the lapse of time between the birth of the child and commencement of paternity proceedings, the psychological bond, emotional commitment and the financial support provided by the alleged non-biological father.

In some instances, the factors are so persuasive that they have served to protect the father-child relationship even though a genetic marker test excludes the person as the father and the courts have upheld the defense to prevent the payment of child support where a genetic marker test establishes a respondent as the biological father.

Having an Experienced Family Court Attorney in Paternity Cases is Important

With over 50 years of combined experience, the family law attorneys of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP, have assisted countless clients in the Westchester County Family Court in White Plains, New Rochelle and Yonkers, NY. Throughout these many years of practice we have successfully represented parents to protect their rights in Child Support and Paternity cases, ensuring that they are able to assert their rights and protect their interests.

Our many existing clients know that we are there to work on their behalf and will diligently protect their best interests.

If your case involves child support or paternity our family law attorneys will immediately meet with you to explore the specifics of your case, begin working with you to develop a strategy about how to protect your interests in Family Court and see that the strategy is carried out in such a way that best serves you.

Your rights and financial well being are far too important to leave unprotected. Contact Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP and immediately speak with a proven and experienced Family Law Attorney.

Immediate and Free Consultations are available. Call (914) 946-4808.