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Establishing Paternity In Arizona

Like any issue in family law, paternity and paternity cases can be complex. Essentially, paternity cases are parentage cases, and they are the way that the court makes orders to say who the child’s legal parents are. If the parents are married when a child is born, the question of parentage is usually assumed and automatically established. But for unmarried parents, the parentage needs to be established legally, through a paternity case.

Continue reading to learn more about paternity cases, including the process of establishing parentage and the reasons to do so. And if you’re in need of a divorce attorney in Chandler or the surrounding area, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Michael D. Miller Jr. today.

Establishing Paternity

Establishing paternity requires obtaining a court order or a signed official declaration that says who the legal parents of a child are. This is especially important if the parents weren’t married at the time of birth, because the child does not have a legal father until paternity is established. Even if the father can prove he is the biological father of the child, if the couple was not married, he does not have legal rights for the child and thus will need to legally establish paternity.

Establishing paternity is important and necessary before custody, parenting time, or child support will be ordered by the court. Once a person is established as a parent of a child, they will have all the rights and responsibilities of a parent, such as custody and parenting time, as well as financial responsibilities such as child support.

Ways To Establish Paternity In Arizona

There are several ways to establish paternity in the state of Arizona:

  • Signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity form at the hospital or birthing center, which is available for unwed parents after the child is born. Nurses and birth records can help to legally establish paternity for the child using this form.

  • Both parents signing a Voluntary Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity form at a DCSS office.

  • Filing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity with the court of an administrative agency. Must be signed by both parents.

  • If one parent is uncooperative in establishing paternity, the case may be referred to the Assistant Attorney General’s office and a court hearing may be scheduled to establish paternity. If you are in this situation, consult with a family law attorney like Michael D. Miller Jr.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Establishing paternity allows both parents legal rights and responsibilities to their child. The children can benefit from:

  • Social Security and other government programs

  • Health and life insurance

  • Medical history

  • Survivor’s benefits

Beyond the legal benefits of establishing paternity, paternity also allows the child to have both parents involved in their life.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Miller Jr. - Chandler Family Law Attorney

Michael D. Miller Jr. has nearly 40 years of experience working in family and divorce law. Know that if you choose to work with Mr. Miller, you are getting help from a family law attorney that will always put your best interests first. If you think that working with The Law Offices of Michael D. Miller Jr. may be right for you and your paternity case, schedule a consultation.