A.R.S. 25-812. Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity; action to overcome paternity

A.  This state or the parent of a child born out of wedlock may establish the paternity of a child by filing one of the following with the clerk of the superior court, the department of economic security or the department of health services:

1.  A notarized or witnessed statement that contains the social security numbers of both parents and that is signed by both parents acknowledging paternity or two separate substantially similar notarized or witnessed statements acknowledging paternity. If the voluntary acknowledgment is filed with the court, the filing party must redact any social security numbers and file them separately pursuant to section 25-501, subsection G. If another man is presumed to be the child’s father pursuant to section 25-814, an acknowledgment of paternity is valid only with the presumed father’s written consent or as prescribed pursuant to section 25-814. A statement that is witnessed by an employee of the department of economic security or the department of health services or by an employee of a hospital must contain the printed name and residential or business address of the witness. A statement that is witnessed by any other person must contain the printed name and residential address of the witness. If the acknowledgment of paternity is witnessed, the witness must be an adult who is not related to either parent by blood or by marriage.

2.  An agreement by the parents to be bound by the results of genetic testing including any genetic test previously accepted by a court of competent jurisdiction, or any combination of genetic testing agreed to by the parties, and an affidavit from a certified laboratory that the tested father has not been excluded.

B.  On filing a document required in subsection A of this section with the clerk of the superior court, the clerk or authorized court personnel shall issue an order establishing paternity, which may amend the name of the child or children, if requested by the parents. The clerk shall transmit a copy of the order of paternity to the department of health services and the department of economic security.

C.  On entry of an order by the clerk of the superior court, the paternity determination has the same force and effect as a judgment of the superior court. In a non-title IV-D case, the clerk shall transmit a copy of an order granted under this subsection to the state title IV-D agency. The case filing fee prescribed by section 12-284 shall not be charged to any person who, in the same county, initiates or responds to a proceeding to establish child support or to obtain an order for custody or parenting time within ninety days after an order establishing paternity is issued under subsection B of this section.

D.  A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity executed pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section may be filed with the department of economic security, which shall provide a copy to the department of health services. A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity made pursuant to this section is a determination of paternity and has the same force and effect as a superior court judgment.

E.  Pursuant to rule 85(c) of the Arizona rules of family law procedure, the mother, father or child, or a party to the proceeding on a rule 85(c) motion, may challenge a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity established in this state at any time after the sixty day period only on the basis of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof on the challenger and under which the legal responsibilities, including child support obligations of any signatory arising from the acknowledgment shall not be suspended during the challenge except for good cause shown. The court shall order the mother, her child or children and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing and shall direct that appropriate testing procedures determine the inherited characteristics, including blood and tissue type. If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the genetic tests demonstrate that the established father is not the biological father of the child, the court shall vacate the determination of paternity and terminate the obligation of that party to pay ongoing child support. An order vacating the determination of paternity operates prospectively only and does not alter the obligation to pay child support arrearages or, unless otherwise ordered by the court, any other amount previously ordered to be paid pursuant to section 25-809.

F.  Before signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to this section, the parties shall be provided notice of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing the acknowledgment.

G.  The department of economic security shall notify the department of health services of all paternity determinations and rescissions.

H.  The mother or the father may rescind the acknowledgment of paternity within the earlier of:

1.  Sixty days after the last signature is affixed to the notarized acknowledgment of paternity that is filed with the department of economic security, the department of health services or the clerk of the court.

2.  The date of a proceeding relating to the child, including a child support proceeding in which the mother or father is a party.

I.  A rescission authorized pursuant to subsection H of this section must be in writing and a copy of each rescission of paternity shall be filed with the department of economic security. The department of economic security shall mail a copy of the rescission of paternity to the other parent and to the department of health services.

J.  Voluntary acknowledgments of paternity and rescissions of paternity filed pursuant to this section shall contain data elements in accordance with the requirements of the United States secretary of health and human services.