Scottsdale Paternity Lawyers Pursue Fathers’ Parental Rights
Creating visitation and support plans for unmarried parents
Issues of child custody, parenting time and child support don’t arise only in divorce. Unmarried couples with children who break up need to legally establish paternity to ensure that both parents have access to their children. Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. works with parents throughout Maricopa County to help establish paternity and develop fair child custody and support agreements. We have years of experience in family law and are ready to guide you through these difficult issues.
Why is it important to establish paternity?
A name on a birth certificate is not enough to establish paternity in Arizona. If you wish to assert your rights as a father, you need to confirm your paternity of your child through the court. Under Section 25-812 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, you can establish paternity by submitting a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, which is a notarized document signed by both parents attesting that you are the father to the Court.
Legally establishing paternity can also be important in cases of paternity fraud, in which a man is led to believe he is a child’s father when he is not. This can happen in cases of infidelity, in which a man could end up paying support for a child that is not his.
There are a variety of reasons to establish legal paternity, including:
- Parenting time. Without a legal finding of paternity, you cannot assert rights for parenting time.
- Legal decision-making authority. Legal paternity allows a father to assert joint custody rights and be involved in the important decisions in his children’s lives.
- Support. It can be difficult to obtain child support payments unless the identity of the child’s father is legally established.
How to establish paternity in Arizona
If your ex-partner is challenging your paternity and refuses to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, you have several options, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security. They include:
- You can have genetic testing done at your local Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) office. If the results indicate a likelihood of paternity that’s 95 percent or greater, the DCSE will submit the results along with a Request for an Order of Paternity to the court.
- If one party is uncooperative in establishing paternity, the DCSE can refer the case to the Assistant Attorney General’s Office for a court hearing to establish paternity.
- Your attorney can file an action in the Arizona court system to establish paternity without the involvement of the DCSE.
Regardless of your relationship with your children’s mother, you deserve to have time with your kids and have a say in how they are raised. At Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C., we can help you establish legal paternity and then negotiate a parenting time agreement and custody plan for you.
Speak with a Scottsdale divorce & family law attorney today
To get started addressing your paternity issues, contact Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. online or at 602-789-3497. We offer free consultations at our Scottsdale office, located on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, just a mile and a half from Highway 101. We have assisted Scottsdale, North Phoenix and Maricopa County residents with their family law issues for more than four decades.