In Arizona, a paternity action is used to establish who is the father of a child born out of wedlock. This provides legal basis for establishing legal decision making, parenting time, child support, past-due child support and the name of the child. The mother, father, guardian, conservator, a county public welfare official or agency and even the State of Arizona itself has the right to file a paternity action. Paternity actions may be filed starting during the pregnancy of the mother and up to the 18th birthday of the child in order to establish child support. Discussing your legal options with an experienced Phoenix paternity lawyer is your best opportunity to protect your rights and know the law concerning paternity in Arizona.
In order to start a paternity action, a sworn petition alleging that the woman has given birth to a child born out of wedlock and the respondent is the father. If the respondent admits that he is the father, or does not file an answer, the court immediately enters a judgment of paternity. Disputes are settled by submitting to genetic testing at a laboratory selected by both parties or appointed by the court. When the result is 95% or greater from genetic testing, the court presumes that the alleged father is the father of the child. This decision can only be overturned by clear and convincing evidence that is considered to be a heightened standard of proof.
In Phoenix, the court presumes that a man is the father of a child in the following circumstances:
- He was married to the mother at any time during the ten months prior to the birth of the child
- Genetic testing confirms that there is a 95% or greater probability of paternity
- Both the mother and father sign the birth certificate
- Both the mother and father execute acknowledgement of paternity
At Enholm Law, PLLC, we take sides…yours. We promise up-front affordable fee structures, constant communication with our clients and a comprehensive case strategy that everyone can understand and follow. Establishing paternity can help determine the rights of both parents when it comes to child support, legal decision making, parenting time and other important areas that can have a great impact on the life of a child.