When a child is born in Arizona, the mother of that child is obvious, and the parental rights that are associated with maternity are automatically established. However, the same is not true when it comes to the child’s father – not only is paternity not always established simply by virtue of the child’s birth, but in some cases, it may be unclear who the father of the child is. When this is the case, working with a Scottsdale paternity/maternity attorney can be incredibly helpful. To learn more or discuss your legal rights seek the help of a child custody attorney today.
WHY IS ESTABLISHING PATERNITY IMPORTANT?
Establishing paternity is very important for all parties involved. For the mother, establishing paternity provides you with a legal avenue for pursuing child support in the event that you and the child’s father are not married. For the child, knowing who their father is can be emotionally and psychologically essential and comforting. The child also gains rights associated with having a father, such as the right to inheritance, the father’s health insurance, the father’s Social Security benefits, and more. And for the father, establishing paternity provides you with the legal rights associated with parentage, including the right to spend time with your child and make decisions about your child’s upbringing, or to — if you and the child’s mother are not married — petition the court for these rights.
HOW IS PATERNITY ESTABLISHED IN ARIZONA?
If parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, then the paternity of the husband is automatically established; it is assumed that the husband is the child’s father unless otherwise stated. If parents are not married, then both the father and the mother can sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity at the time of the child’s birth, or shortly after at a later date.
In some cases, who the father is may be unclear, or one party may deny paternity. When this is the case, legal action may be necessary.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I DO NOT THINK I’M THE FATHER?
If you think that you are or are not the father of a child, and the child’s mother is in disagreement with you about this belief, genetic testing may be the only way to settle the dispute. Via a court order, an alleged father may be required to submit to genetic testing. Genetic testing is initially paid for in advance by the state of Arizona, although the man being tested will likely be forced to repay the fee in the event that he is indeed determined to be the father.
If the genetic testing reveals that there is a 95 percent (or greater) likelihood that the man is indeed the father, the court will consider this evidence enough, and establish paternity via court order. The man will then be liable for providing for the child financially, and also have the right to petition the court for custody.
WHY YOU SHOULD WORK WITH A SCOTTSDALE PATERNITY/MATERNITY ATTORNEY?
Whether you are a mother or an alleged father, working with a Scottsdale attorney can help to protect your legal rights.
If you are a mother who is unsure about who the father of your child may be, we can help you to pursue an investigation into paternity involving the man that you most suspect to be the father. If paternity is established, we will help you to pursue child custody and child support.
If you are the father or alleged father of a child who wants to establish paternity and obtain legal rights associated with parenthood, we are here to represent you, too. We believe in protecting fathers’ rights, and will help you to secure an outcome that is in the best interests of you and your child.
Of course, we always prioritize a child’s best interests when dealing with matters of paternity, child custody, and child support. Because we have helped parents on both sides of the issue, we have a unique perspective, and a wide breadth of experience.
CONTACT US TODAY
Establishing paternity is not just a legal hurdle, but an emotionally intensive one, too. At the firm of Modern Law, PLLC, our experienced Scottsdale paternity/maternity attorney is here to competently and kindly answer any questions that you may have, and help you take any actions necessary. If you are ready to learn more, please call our law firm today. A consultation is completely confidential.