Joint Custody in Paternity Action

Father obtained joint legal and physical custody of his minor child, who was less than 2 years old. Mother and Father were never married. Father initiated a complaint to establish his parenting time. The probation department attempted to resolve the entire case at the hearing on Father’s motion for temporary orders, wherein Father objected and was heard before the Court. By not pre-maturely resolving the case, the Father was able to successfully obtain joint legal and physical custody of his young child. In paternity actions, since the parties were not married, the Mother automatically has sole legal and physical custody and thus it was a significant hurdle for Father to obtain both joint legal and physical custody. (Suffolk County)