Phoenix Attorney: Establishing Paternity
When a child is born outside of marriage, it is important to establish paternity — important for the father, the mother and, most of all, for the child. If you have questions about how to establish paternity and about your rights and responsibilities, talk to a family law attorney at the R. J. Peters & Associates law firm in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Both parents of a child owe an obligation of support for that child. If the father of a child refuses to acknowledge that he is the father of the child, a mother can file an action for paternity to establish that he is, in fact, the father of the child. If the mother denies the father's paternity, the father can file an action to establish paternity. The Order of Paternity than allows both parents to pursue their rights and enforce the other parent's responsibilities.
How is paternity established? In most cases, paternity is either admitted or established through the use of blood tests. With modern DNA testing, paternity can be established to a near certainty. Arizona courts recognize DNA testing to establish paternity. Our law firm can help you understand your legal obligations and explain how to set up a paternity blood test.
What if parentage is denied by the father or mother? A father who denies that he is the parent can be compelled to submit to a blood test. A mother who denies that a man is the father of her child, can also be compelled to submit to a blood test to establish parentage.
What is the effect of establishing paternity? Once the issue of parentage is proven, the father can then be ordered to provide for past and future support of the child (including medical coverage and childbirth expenses). The father can also gain his rights of custody and visitation, in accordance with the best interests of the child. Father's will of course be given credit for any support actually provided.
Other than parentage, what else is established in a paternity action? Every paternity action is different, but paternity actions generally include: whether an individual is in fact the father of the child, the custody and visitation rights of the respective parents, past and future support and medical expenses for the child. Talk to an attorney about your specific case.
We take sides at the R. J. Peters & Associates law firm. This is an important concept that we do not take lightly. Settlement of the difficult issues which arise in family law matters is always an important effort, but not always possible. We focus on fighting for our clients whether in settlement efforts or in litigation. Our only business is family law. From our office located near downtown Phoenix, we represent clients in Maricopa County and throughout Arizona.
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