NY Upholds Child Support Obligation Under Paternity by Estoppel

The NY Court of Appeals recently upheld a putative father’s child support obligation even after a DNA test disproved paternity subsequent to the father’s child support obligation being determined. The mother reportedly lied to the father about paternity in the first place.

The NY court based its decision on the doctrine of paternity by estoppel. That principle places greater weight on the social or de facto parent-child relationship that clearly already existed between the child and the putative father than on the DNA test results.

More fundamentally, the NY court found that it was in the best interests of the child to uphold paternity.

Read more in this Rochester Daily Record article: Court of Appeals rules father figure still required to pay child support.

The above NY case is perfectly consistent with the law of many states, including Florida – until recently.

A new law in Florida permits a putative father to disestablish paternity by DNA testing and to terminate child support obligations (with certain exceptions, of course).