When a child is born to an unmarried couple, it is important for both the parents and the child that paternity be established.

If the father wants to have any rights in the child’s life, or if the mother wants to collect child support, paternity must be established. The father’s name on a birth certificate raises a presumption of paternity, but to enforce legal rights, paternity must be established. To do this, a parent can file a case with the court.

Parental obligations are the responsibility of both parents.. A mother or a father can file an action to establish paternity. After paternity is established by the court, either parent can pursue their legal rights.

There are two ways to establish Paternity. Both parents can admit they are the parents of the child, or a genetic test can be done. Arizona courts allow DNA tests to determine paternity. We can help you understand your options, and if necessary, help you set up a paternity test. If a parent denies paternity, either can be forced to allow a blood test to establish paternity.

Paternity establishment is necessary before a father can be ordered by the court to pay child support. In addition, paternity allows a father can enforce his rights to custody and visitation. Paternity actions can involve a variety of issues, typically the court will determine: who the father of the child is, what legal and physical custody arrangement is appropriate, support obligations and medical expense for the child.

Contact Davis Miles McGuire Gardner to discuss needs involving maternity and paternity.