Maricopa County Paternity Lawyer
The legal identification of a child’s father is known as paternity. Is your child born out of marriage? If that is the case, maybe you’re currently having a hard time establishing your rights and duties as the father of your child.
If a child’s parents are unmarried, he will carry his mother’s name. For the father to gain his paternal rights, he has to file a paternity suit—a legal proceeding in court intended to claim that he is the father of the child officially. It is the initial step in asserting parental prerogatives in Maricopa County. In a wide range of paternity matters, paternity lawyers from Dodge & Vega, PLC can aid parents or guardians to legally settle the paternity of the child’s biological father in front of a judge.
Call Dodge & Vega, PLC at (480) 559-8252 now to get a consultation with our law experts.
Paternity Establishment in Maricopa County
Without proving that someone is the legal or biological father of a child, he cannot possess any parental rights to custody and access. While a child is under the mother’s care, she decides whether to allow or prohibit the visitation of other people to her child. However, if the parents are married, the husband is automatically presumed as the father.
If legal decision-making and parenting time haven’t been decided on by both parents, there will be volatility and unpredictability on the access of each parent to their son or daughter. As a solution to this, a parenting plan must be made with the help of a family lawyer. The father must also establish paternity for his child.
With or without the cooperation of the mother, it is the right of the child’s father to plead the court to establish paternity on his initiative. Once granted, it is still necessary to petition the court for an order allowing parenting time.
There are three ways to establish paternity of a child in Maricopa County, AZ: establishment by the presumption of paternity, establishment by the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, and establishment by adjudicating paternity in court.
Establishment by Presumption of Paternity
In Arizona law, there are four presumptions of paternity. Any man can be considered the father of a child if:
- He presently is or was married to the mother of the child ten months before the child’s birth. Also, if the child is born ten months before the marriage ended in a legal separation, annulment, divorce, or death;
- DNA test result affirms fatherhood by 95% or more;
- The parents are unmarried, but both signed the birth certificate as the mother and father of the child; and
- The parents are unmarried, but both sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.
The presumptions above can still be refuted by clear and credible evidence, challenging the defendant’s side. If another man was granted the paternity of the child by the court, then any of the presumptions is completely nullified.
Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity
A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is another method of establishing the paternity of the child. It works when unmarried parents acknowledge paternity through a notarized or witnessed written statement. The content of the document is the official statement of the mother and father, saying the child is theirs biologically. It is arranged with the court, Department of Economic Security (DES), and Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).
This method has consequences if not conducted voluntarily. Before signing, both parties must be given notice of the alternatives and legal consequences that go along with the execution of the document. They can also just agree on what the DNA paternity test result will be. A certified laboratory should be one analyzing the genetic samples as its affidavit is often sufficient in proving legal paternity.
The DNA test of the purported father is necessary before signing any document containing the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.
The third method of establishing paternity in Maricopa County is the adjudication of a child’s legal father through several court proceedings or otherwise known as paternity lawsuit. Any of the parents, a guardian, or relative can file a petition for the court to establish paternity.
This request can be arranged either during the pregnancy of the mother or after the birth of the child. Although, the restriction of filing the request is only before the child’s 18th year. This is to lay the father’s duty to provide financial and child support to the minor.
Working with a Paternity Attorney
Legal proceedings are complicated. Without professional support, you will have a difficult time establishing paternity over your child. The easiest and most effective way to do it is to work with a paternity lawyer in Maricopa County. Be confident that you’ll have access and custody involving your child with our help. In Dodge & Vega, PLC, we guarantee a passionate and excellent legal service that will help you carry out your goal.
Don’t grope in a lack of legal knowledge. Let a paternity attorney help you understand your rights better and convince the court in granting your request.
Contact Dodge & Vega, PLC at (480) 559-8252 for inquiries or book a free consultation now!