Establishing paternity is the first step towards settling issues such as child support, custody, visitation and the father’s access to a child.
The process of establishing paternity can be initiated by the mother or the father. Let’s take a closer look at some of the particulars of establishing paternity in Arizona.
Presumption of paternity
There are certain situations where a man is presumed to be the father in Arizona. This is legally called the “presumption of paternity.” Here are some of the circumstances that qualify a man for the presumption of paternity:
- Married to the child’s mother: A man is legally presumed to be the father in Arizona if he was married to the mother for at least 10 months before the child was born.
- Genetic testing: If a DNA test says that a man is a biological father, then paternity is considered proven.
- Written acknowledgment: If the mother and the man in question sign the birth certificate or sign a notarized and witnessed statement acknowledging paternity, then he is presumed to be the father even if the child was born out of wedlock.
If a man is found to be the biological father of a child, this legal status comes with rights and responsibilities. If clear evidence can be presented to the contrary, such as genetic testing, then he can avoid being under the presumption of paternity.
What about cases of artificial insemination?
A biological father is considered legally exempt from responsibility if he was a sperm donor which waived his legal rights at the time of donation. A child who is born from artificial insemination leaves the biological father without legal obligation. If the child’s mother is married and her husband consented to artificial insemination, then the husband is the child’s presumptive father.
Don’t let a question of paternity interfere with your rights as a father. Legal help is available when you need it.