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When is paternity presumed in Arizona?

Paternity can be a complicated matter, rife with contentiousness. There are multiple factors that affect the mother, the presumed father and the child. It is imperative that the parents understand what the law says about presumption of paternity and how to address any issues that arise with a case from the perspectives of everyone involved.

There will be a presumption of paternity, if the man and the mother were married at any juncture in the 10 months that immediately precede the child's birth, or if the child is born within 10 months of the end of the marriage, whether it is through divorce, legal separation, invalidation, annulment and death. If genetic testing is done, and it shows a minimum of 95 percent probability of paternity, the man will be presumed to be the biological father.

A child who is born out of wedlock and has a birth certificate that is signed by a man, that man, will be presumed as the father. A witnessed or notarized statement that has been signed by both parents that acknowledge paternity or separate statements that are witnessed or notarized will be sufficient for a man to be presumed as the father.

If there is another man who is presumed to be the father, while a husband and wife were married within the previously mentioned 10-month periods, the acknowledgment of paternity can be put into effect, if there is written consent from the presumed father or there is a rebuttal of the presumption. The presumption can be rebutted, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the man is not the biological father. If there are two or more presumptions, the court will decide based on logic and policy. If there is a court decree, it will rebut a presumption of paternity.

Fathers who are concerned about paternity issues should know how the law views presumption of paternity. The same holds true for mothers and men who might possibly be the father, but are unsure. Having legal assistance from an attorney who is experienced in fathers' rights is vital in these circumstances.

Source: AzLeg.gov, "25-814. Presumption of paternity," accessed on Sept. 4, 2017

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