When a marriage is annulled, it brings about several complications due to the fact that the marriage was never seen as legally valid. One of the primary concerns many parents face is that any children they share may be at the center of tricky custody battles at the result of being born to parents who were never legally wed.
Fortunately, Arizona has some rather forward-thinking laws when it comes to children born outside a legal marriage. Children born to parents of any relationship status are protected by the same guidelines, and if a child has been born out of wedlock, parents will have equal custody of the child once paternity has been determined.
The “presumption of paternity” clause is what can confuse many couples, but it is much simpler than the tricky legalese makes it seem. All you need for paternity to be established outside of marriage is one of the following:
- A birth certificate signed by both the mother and father (the most common method)
- A notarized statement acknowledging paternity signed by the mother and father
- A genetics test showing 95% or greater probability of paternity
- The child was born no more than 10 months after the annulment of the marriage.
Generally speaking, it is easier to prove paternity following annulment than deny it; the burden will lie with the presumed father to prove otherwise.
You may even be able to hammer out the details of child support and custody during your annulment hearing, which can help make an already overwhelming process just a bit easier. If you are seeking to annul your marriage in Arizona but are concerned about what may happen to your children, you do not need to navigate the process alone. The Arizona family law attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten are here to help you; call us today at 602-258-1000 to receive the support and guidance that you need.