Paternity2020-01-26T13:25:57-07:00

Expertise  /  Paternity

Legal paternity does not necessarily depend on a biological relationship

Our family law attorneys have helped hundreds of parents establish and protect parental rights and we are one of the only law firms in Scottsdale that offers flat fees.

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Our family law attorneys have helped hundreds of parents establish and protect parental rights and we are one of the only law firms in Scottsdale that offers flat fees.

Get a free consultation
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Arizona Law

An overview of the rights and responsibilities conferred by legal paternity

Legal paternity refers specifically to the legal rights and obligations created by a parental relationship. It can be established by voluntary acknowledgment or by a petition filed in family court. Usually, but not always, the issue of paternity is consolidated with establishment of legal decision-making, parenting time, and child support. Once paternity is legally established, it can be very difficult or even impossible to disestablish, even with conclusive genetic evidence. Either parent may request genetic testing to confirm paternity.

Paternity can be established through voluntary acknowledgment, a sworn statement signed by both parents and filed with the Department of Health Services, the Superior Court, or the Department of Economic Security. Voluntary acknowledgments of paternity are most commonly executed at the hospital after birth. Individuals have sixty days to rescind or undo an acknowledgment of paternity.

A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he and the mother were married at any time in the ten months immediately preceding the birth or if the birth certificate is signed by the mother and father when the parents are not married. This presumption does not establish any parental rights and can be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.

Until paternity is established, fathers unfortunately have few enforceable rights and the mother is legally presumed to be the sole custodian of the child. But the term “Father’s Rights” is used by other family law attorneys primarily to exploit men’s fear of a gender-biased family court. Arizona law treats both parents equally, regardless of gender. So “father’s rights” is just a marketing gimmick. Regardless of gender, good parents are good parents. Our child custody attorneys possess extensive experience representing fathers and mothers.

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