Paternity Lawyer Phoenix

You may be feeling left out because you have no paternity rights over your child. When this happens, it’s important to get a savvy law firm on your side. Paternity rules are strict and require you to follow regimented steps to receive paternity rights. With an attorney’s help, you can follow a set of guidelines that provide you with several ways to establish paternity.

To get information on how you can become the legal paternal father of a child and what to expect after, speak to Cosmas Onyia. Reach out to us now for a consultation with a family law attorney in Phoenix.

A Man Playing With His Newborn Baby

How long does a father have to establish paternity in Arizona?

A father can establish paternity in Arizona using one of several ways. They can either do this by signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity form at the time of the child’s birth, or by filing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form at a later time. If paternity is not established in one of these ways, the father can seek to establish paternity through a court proceeding. There is no specific time limit for a father to establish paternity through a court proceeding

How does a father establish paternity in Arizona?

There are different ways a father can establish paternity depending on the situation. Here are some steps to establish paternity in Arizona:

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

The easiest way to establish paternity is for both parents to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form. This form can be signed at the hospital when the child is born or at a later date. It can also be obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Court Order

If the mother or the alleged father disputes paternity, the alleged father can file a petition with the court to establish paternity. A court hearing will be held, and a judge will make a determination based on the evidence presented.

Genetic Testing

When the mother is not married, and the alleged father denies paternity, either parent can request genetic testing to determine paternity. Genetic testing can be done through the Arizona Department of Health Services or a private lab.

Administrative Order

In some cases, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) can establish paternity through judicial process. This process can be initiated by the mother or the alleged father, and it may involve genetic testing.

What Is a Paternity Claim?

A paternity claim is a legal action taken to establish the biological father of a child. In many cases, paternity claims are initiated by the mother or the father of a child, but they can also be initiated by an agency of the state of Arizona.

Why Is Establishing Paternity Important?

You should be aware that establishing paternity has important legal implications, including determining child custody, visitation, and child support. It can also establish inheritance rights, social security benefits, and access to medical history. Establishing paternity can be important in the following ways:

Legal Rights and Responsibilities

Establishing paternity is important for legal reasons, as it determines a child’s legal rights and responsibilities, such as child support, inheritance, and access to medical records. Without establishing paternity, a child may not have access to these rights, and the father won’t be held accountable for his responsibilities.

Health Benefits

When paternity is established, this can have crucial health contributions for the child. This allows the child to access important medical information from both parents, including genetic predispositions to certain diseases. Paternity can help healthcare providers provide better care for the child, and the child can be more proactive about their health as they grow older. It can also allow for more accurate medical histories for future generations.

Emotional and Psychological Benefits

When your paternity rights are established, this may provide emotional and psychological benefits for the child, mother, and father. It can provide a sense of identity and belonging for the child, while also allowing the father to build a relationship with their child. For the father, it can provide a sense of connection and responsibility towards their child.

Wooden Cutouts Of A Family Next To A Judges Hammer

Paternity and Child Support Responsibilities and Benefits

Parental legal rights and paternity rights can include:

Child Custody

Both parents have the right to seek custody of their child, either through joint custody or sole custody, depending on the circumstances.


If one parent has sole custody of the child, the other parent typically has the right to visitation with their child, unless it is determined to not be in the best interest of the child.

Child Support

Both parents are legally responsible for supporting their children financially, regardless of whether they are married or not. The amount of child support is usually determined based on various factors, including the income of both parents and the needs of the child.


A child has the right to inherit from their biological father, even if paternity was established after the father’s death.

Medical Decision-Making

Both parents have the right to make medical decisions for their child, including decisions related to medical treatment, surgery, and other medical procedures.


The parents have the right to be involved in their child’s education and to make decisions related to their child’s schooling, including choosing a school and making decisions about their child’s education.

Name Change

A child has the right to change their last name to their biological father’s name once paternity has been established.

Parental Legal Rights and Paternity

Paternity and child support responsibilities include the following:

Financial Support

Once paternity has been established, the biological father is legally responsible for providing financial support to their child. Child support payments are typically based on both parents’ income and the child’s needs. These payments are intended to cover expenses such as food, clothing, housing, education, and medical care.

Medical Support

The biological father is also responsible for providing medical support for their child, including paying for any necessary medical care or health insurance.

Legal Rights

After paternity has been established, the biological father has legal rights to seek custody or visitation with their child, as well as the right to make decisions related to their child’s medical care and education.

Retroactive Support

In some cases, a biological father may be required to provide retroactive child support for the period of time before paternity was established.


If a biological father fails to meet their child’s support obligations, enforcement measures may be taken. This includes wage garnishment, property liens, or suspension of their driver’s license or professional license.

Father Holding His Child In His Arms

How Can Paternity Lawyers in Phoenix Help You?

Paternity lawyers in Phoenix can help you in a variety of ways, including:

Establishing Paternity

Paternity lawyers can help you legally establish paternity, either through genetic testing or by voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. This is important to ensure both parents have legal rights and responsibilities toward their children.

Child Custody and Visitation

Paternity lawyers can help you seek custody or visitation with your child and can help negotiate a custody agreement with the other parent or argue your case in court.

Child Support

Paternity lawyers can help you determine the amount of child support you should pay or receive, based on various factors such as income and the needs of the child. They can also help enforce child support orders or seek modifications to existing child support orders.

Legal Representation

If you are facing a paternity case in court, a family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ can provide legal representation and help you navigate the legal system. They can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities, and advocate on your behalf to ensure the best outcome for you and your child.


Paternity lawyers can also help facilitate mediation between you and the other parent, to help you come to an agreement on issues such as custody, visitation, and child support.

Get the help you need from experienced paternity lawyers who can guide you on paternity laws in Arizona. To get started, get a consultation from Cosmas Onyia today.