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Experienced Tucson Attorney Resolves Arizona Paternity Questions

Arizona lawyer helps fathers and mothers establish or dispute parentage

Paternity is the legal status of being a child’s father. For unmarried couples, a paternity determination is crucial to establishing parental rights, such as custody and visitation, and obligations, notably child support. It is also effectuates important rights like inheritance. Pahl & Associates is a Tucson law firm representing fathers, mothers and other legally interested parties seeking to establish or dispute paternity. Talk to us about your family’s unique situation and we’ll explain how we can help.

Knowledgeable counsel on Arizona paternity law

There are multiple ways to establish paternity in Arizona:

  • By presumption — A man is presumed to be the father if 1) genetic testing affirms paternity with at least 95 percent certainty; or 2) the parents are unmarried and both sign the birth certificate; or 3) the man was married to the mother during the 10 months immediately before the child was born, or the child was born within 10 months of their divorce. A presumption of paternity is rebuttable by producing clear and convincing evidence.
  • By voluntary acknowledgement — Both mother and father may sign a written statement, in front of a notary, acknowledging the man’s paternity. The acknowledgement is then filed in court. Complications arise if the man is asserting paternity over a child who was born while the mother was married to a different man, a common issue that our legal team handles.
  • By court order —A petition to establish paternity can be filed by a child’s mother, guardian or conservator. To establish a duty to pay child support or back child support, the lawsuit must be filed before the child turns 18. If a paternity action is filed and the putative father fails to respond, the judge can enter a default judgment against him, making him liable to pay child support.

With regard to same-sex relationships, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that the presumption of paternity applies analogously to a woman whose wife gives birth based on artificial insemination by an anonymous donor. There is as yet no similar presumption for male same-sex marriages.

Understanding the important of creating parenting plans

Once paternity is established, a putative father has standing to assert rights equal to those of the child’s mother. Parents can avoid conflict by agreeing to share parenting time and responsibilities. Custody and visitation are subject to a court’s determination of what is in the child’s best interests. However, courts encourage parents to create workable plans, which if approved are included in a court order. We help clients develop comprehensive parenting plans that build in flexibility to account for changes in circumstances. We also assist in enforcement and modification of such agreements.

Get help from an experienced Arizona paternity lawyer

Pahl & Associates represents mothers, putative fathers and other interested parties in matters related to paternity in Arizona. To speak with a Tucson lawyer during a confidential consultation, please call 520-628-1111 or contact us online. Se habla español.