My question involves paternity law for the State of: New York
Let me start off with saying thanks in advance for any advice…I’ve tried to search the forums for a similar scenario, but was unable to find a situation that “mirrored” mine. I also understand the end result of this discussion will be for me to seek a local attorney here in upstate New York, but in the meantime, I’m looking for any kind of preemptive advice with regards to a very difficult (emotionally) decision on my part…
I met a woman in upstate New York in December 2011 who informed me she was in the process of a divorce. Over the next month, we saw each other several times and spoke frequently and ended up in a sexual relationship in January 2012…albeit only a few times - which I understand is a moot point. I found out she was not actually in the process of a divorce and was in fact still living with her husband, but they were “planning” on getting a divorce.
I am divorced [from another woman] and the father of an 8-year-old son with whom I spend quite a bit of time and get along very well with his mother (my ex-wife). The woman I met told me she regretted never having a child of her own during her 20-year marriage. I had expressed to her several times I had no desire to have another child.
After learning that nothing I had to say actually mattered to her and things always needed to go her way, I decided to end the “relationship”. When I advised her in the first part of March I didn’t see it working out between us, she chose at that time to inform me she was pregnant with my child. She also stated an abortion was not an option and she was going to continue with the pregnancy regardless of my feelings about it.
I told her at that time I would be willing to try and continue a relationship (as that’s what she wanted)…but after another month, I came to the realization that I was lying to myself that a relationship with her would work and that I was attempting it only because she was pregnant with [supposedly] my child.
I truly believe she deceived me on several occasions and in several matters in order to use me as a “sperm-donor” and “trap” me into a relationship with her. Yes, I realize a lot of men say that…but sometimes it’s true. And yes, I realize that when you have sex, there is a chance the woman will become pregnant. But when you believe the woman is on birth-control it does make a big difference with the decisions you make when having sex.
While she is now separated from her husband, I do not believe any divorce proceedings have been filed by either her or her husband and with the child due to be born in late September or early October, she will still be married when the child is born.
She has made it clear that we cannot be “friends” nor even be on friendly terms. She says she will be demanding a paternity test. She has also made it clear that she will be seeking child support.
Knowing the type of person she is, I believe anything I have to say with regards to both the major and minor decisions in this child’s life (e.g. religion, academics, philosophy, etc.) will fall on deaf ears. Ultimately, I believe I will have no direct or indirect influence with regards to “raising” this child.
The presiding Family Court judge in this county HEAVILY favors women when it comes to any divorce or child support proceedings.
Here are my questions so far...and again, any advice is greatly appreciated:
1) Going under the assumption her divorce will proceed, and the husband’s attorney will ensure he disestablishes paternity in the divorce, does her marital status at the time of conception, and/or when the child is born, make any difference as to my rights or obligations?
2) Going under the assumption her divorce will proceed, and the husband’s attorney DOES NOT ensure he disestablishes paternity in the divorce, how would that affect me with regards to my rights or obligations?
3) Can she start ANY proceedings against me (e.g. demanding a paternity test, child support proceedings) prior to her divorce being finalized?
4) If she DOESN’T follow through with the divorce, how does that affect my rights or obligations?
5) Does it really matter whose name [with regards to the father] is or is not put on the birth certificate?
6) Given that she follows through with the divorce and a paternity test proves I am the biological father: Believing with all my heart that I will have no say in this child's life, is it going to be possible/probable for me to voluntarily terminate my parental rights…and if so, what legal statute or precedent gives me the right to do so? (Again, this is in upstate NY and going under the assumption the above stated narrative is true – if anything within the narrative makes any difference.)
7) Does termination of parental rights also terminate any and all child support obligations now and in the future? (I believe I saw both yes and no answers to this one…)