Representing Unmarried Parents in Paternity Cases in Arizona
All children in Arizona have a right to the care and support that both of their parents are able to provide to them. Whether or not a child's parents are or have ever been married, child custody (legal decision making) and child support orders are available to enforce the child's and the parents' rights.
I'm Kyle Scoresby, a Mesa paternity lawyer with more than 20 years of experience representing family law clients throughout Arizona. My staff and I at Scoresby Family Law help unmarried parents assert their rights in paternity cases. To learn more about paternity, child custody and child support in Arizona, contact my office to schedule a consultation.
You Must Establish Paternity Before You Enforce Your Parental Rights
Although family law cases involving children born to unmarried couples are typically called paternity cases, determining the actual paternity of the child is usually just a formality. In most cases, the mother knows who the father is, and the father acknowledges paternity.
If a man served with paternity papers does not acknowledge paternity, he can request DNA testing to confirm or deny that he is the father.
In Arizona, when a child is born to a married couple, the father automatically has certain legal rights from the time of birth. When a child is born out of wedlock, however, the father has no rights until paternity is established.
Establishing Child Custody and Support Responsibilities
Typically, paternity suits are brought either by a mother seeking child support or a father seeking visitation, now known as parenting time. Once paternity is established either through mutual acknowledgement or through a DNA test, these cases proceed under the same laws that apply in other child custody cases.
Often, these cases are brought when the parents of a child have been living together or informally working out child custody and support arrangements. When a relationship ends or the parents can no longer agree, it may be necessary to get a lawyer involved.
Contact an Experienced and Aggressive Paternity Lawyer.
I handle these cases with the same sensitivity I show in every family law case, paying attention to the impact that parental conflict can have on children. If you and the other parent are unable to reach agreements, however, I can provide experienced and aggressive representation in Court. Don't hesitate to contact my office in Mesa to discuss your legal goals and options for pursuing them.