Family law attorney Stacey Shaheen Bellabona secured important rights for individuals filing a parenting petition pursuant to RSA 461-A. Attorney Bellabona represented the Petitioner, J.B., in an interlocutory appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court which arose from the filing of his parenting petition to establish his parental rights and responsibilities.
The Respondent, J.G., filed a Motion to Dismiss the case after the results of a paternity test showed that the Petitioner was not the child’s biological father. She claimed the the Petitioner was not entitled to any rights under RSA 461-A. However, the Petitioner had been recognized as the child’s father on the birth certificate and through an affidavit of paternity executed by both parties. In addition, the Petitioner maintained weekly visitation with the child and paid child support pursuant to a court order obtained by the Respondent.
Both the Portsmouth Family Court and the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the Petitioner could maintain his parenting petition pursuant to RSA 461-A. Specifically, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the Petitioner’s non-biological connection to the child was “not fatal” to his parental petition. As a result of this decision, the Petitioner has been able to maintain his parenting petition and his parental rights and responsibilities.