Raising a child is a 24/7 commitment and the expense of providing care is high. When a mother raises her child on her own, it often puts a financial strain on the family. For many unwed mothers, establishing paternity is the key to getting the legal, financial and emotional help they need. After paternity is determined, such issues as child support and custody can be resolved.
Paternity can be defined simply as fatherhood. Once paternity is established in Arizona, the mother, father and child are all provided certain rights. For example, the child may be awarded rights to his or her father’s medical and life insurance benefits, as well as to inheritance. But there is also the emotional and long-term aspect of paternity, which is giving the child the opportunity to connect with his or her father.
Steps to Proving Paternity
Not every pregnancy is planned and sometimes a man will adamantly deny that he is the father. In that situation, paternity may need to be established. Below are some of the steps involved to determine paternity:
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- Either party can petition the court to order genetic testing to verify the biological father.
- Genetic testing is what is used to prove fatherhood. In Arizona, the test results must show a 95 percent likelihood of paternity.
- If the genetic testing establishes who the biological father is, a court order can be obtained naming the man as the child’s legal father.
- After the legal father has been named, orders may be issued regarding child support and custody.
If you are involved in a situation where paternity needs to be established, an Arizona family law attorney may be able to help you. We have extensive experience in Arizona paternity cases and work hard to ensure that the interests of the children and parents are protected.
The law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC is not your typical firm. We are known for being “attorneys you can talk to” and we strive to keep our clients informed and updated regarding their cases.