How Can You Establish Paternity?
In Arizona, when a child is born to a married couple, the husband is presumed to be the father per A.R.S. 25-814. Similarly, when two individuals sign a child’s birth certificate, it is also presumed that both individuals are the legal parents. Following a 2017 ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court, married couples of the same sex are also afforded these same rights of paternity law.
However, when a child is born out of wedlock, paternity must be established in order to gain legal parental rights. Without these rights, the child will not be able to receive benefits (such as medical or survivor) from the paternal parent, nor will the paternal parent be able to seek visitation time or legal decision-making should the relationship end.
There are three ways an individual can establish paternity in the state of Arizona:
In this situation, both parents must sign an affidavit that acknowledges paternity. This will allow for the creation of a new birth certificate for the child with both parents’ names. This acknowledgment can be found here and filed with the Department of Child Support Services.
If there is any uncertainty as to who the father of a child is, genetic testing can be utilized. This can be requested by either parent. Testing that shows an individual is at least 95% likely to be the biological father will be forwarded to the court. The court can then issue an order legally establishing paternity of the child.
Establishment of Paternity Through the Court
In some cases, a parent may need to petition the court to order a DNA test for a presumptive parent. The court can also be petitioned for a Declaratory Judgement of Paternity. These can only be filed through Arizona’s Superior Courts, where contested cases could potentially end up in trial.
If a child is born to a married woman, but her husband is not the biological father, then the husband must sign a Waiver of Parentage unless the court has already determined him not to be the biological father.
Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling cases involving paternity and parental rights. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.