Paternity Lawyer in Phoenix

Paternity / Maternity

By some estimates, as many as forty percent of all births are to unmarried women. This situation often creates legal issues and the courts treat these issues very seriously. In Arizona, there are specific statues defined in Chapter 6, Article 1 beginning at Title 25, Section 801 of the Arizona laws. These statutes include information such as venue, establishing paternity and a whole host of other issues that impact unwed parents.

Phoenix family law attorney discusses paternity issues
In Arizona, as in most other states, when a woman is married his husband is considered to be the father. However, an unmarried mother is not required by law to include the name of the father on the child’s birth certificate. For a father to have any rights to see his child, he may have to file a paternity claim with the courts.

Additionally, if a father is denying paternity, it may be necessary to obtain a paternity test to establish the paternal relationship to enable the mother to seek a child support order for the child. It is important to remember that if a child is born within ten months of a divorce the ex-husband is typically considered to be the biological father unless a paternity test proves otherwise.

Legal process to establish paternity

There are a few options that mothers and biological fathers have to establish paternity. Some are far simpler and far more cost effective than others.

  • Name on birth certificate – if both mother and father sign the birth certificate this is a legal way to establish paternity. The parents then have the responsibility to work out custody, child support and other issues pertaining to the child. If they cannot reach an agreement then court relief may become necessary
  • Signed and sworn affidavit – a single signed and notarized statement signed by both parents establishing paternity can also be used. In some cases, both parents may sign and have notarized individual statements that would have the same legal authority
  • Paternity testing – when one parent is denying paternity, a DNA test may be conducted to establish paternity. These tests are generally accepted as a legal means of establishing paternity.

Cosmas Onyia P.C. explains the legal ramifications of paternity

Once paternity has been established by any legal method the father may be under obligation to provide monetary support to the child. In addition, fathers may sue for custody, request visitation rights and insist on having a voice in the child’s upbringing.

Parents who are facing paternity issues, child support issues or any issues pertaining to family law should contact Cosmas Onyia P.C. for assistance. As a Phoenix family law attorney I understand how difficult these situations can be for everyone involved.