John Bednarz, P.C. | Divorce & Family Law Attorney
View Practice Areas
Relax and meet John

Fathers' Rights Archives

Taking the next steps after acknowledging paternity

Previous posts here have talked about how a father in Phoenix, Arizona, who is not married to his child's mother can bypass much of the formal process of establishing paternity by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. However, as those previous posts mentioned, the form itself, while it makes a man legally his child's father, confers no specific rights to child custody or parenting time. If it turns out that a father needs a court order in order to have the time to form a relationship with his children, then an additional step will be necessary.

How an order of joint legal custody can help fathers in Phoenix

There are many fathers in the Phoenix area who do not live with their children's mother, but who nonetheless want to have a meaningful relationship with their children. One important component to accomplishing this goal is to obtain a child custody order, either by agreeing with the child's mother or resolving the matter in court. Ideally, this order will give a father in Arizona liberal access to his children and the ability to make important decisions in that child's life. Without such an order, a father may not be able to have the time and influence in his child's life in order to form a meaningful relationship with the child.

Arizona's Acknowledgement of Paternity form

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, the most certain means of establishing paternity in Arizona is to go to court and get a legal decree which will officially identify a man as the father of his or her child. A court will generally do this after court-ordered DNA testing.

Review of Arizona's Acknowledgement of Paternity form

As is the case in other states, Arizona has a means for fathers to establish paternity over any of their children who are born out of wedlock without having to go to court. Specifically, so long as the mother is also willing to sign, a father can sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. Before signing on the dotted line, it is important for dads in Phoenix to know what this form will and will not do should they elect to sign it.

How the wishes of the child play into Arizona custody orders

As this blog has discussed previously, fathers who live in Phoenix, Arizona, but not in the same home as their child's mother, generally speaking have the exact same rights to custody as the child's mother. In other words, courts in Arizona are going to look at what the best interests of the child are when it comes to deciding custody and should not automatically presume the mother is going to be the best custodial parent.

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.

A lawyer can assist with a state paternity suit in Arizona

When there is a paternity issue, it can be a worrisome and problematic issue to overcome. This is something that often arises with unmarried people who are either unsure as to the paternity or are embroiled in a dispute. It is easy to forget the children when the parents disagree about major issues such as paternity, but a main factor in these cases is the best interests of the child. Having legal assistance is vital not just to satisfy the parents or possible parents, but for the child as well.

How helpful are paternity tests during custody disputes?

When child custody disputes arise, parents in Arizona may have to take additional steps to sort them out. If a mother contends that a man is the father of a child or a man is seeking to gain fathers' rights by asserting that he is the father of a child, DNA testing will be necessary if the parties disagree as to the man's fatherhood of the child.

The significance of establishing paternity

When a baby is born in Arizona and any other state in the nation, there is a common misconception that when a man is listed as the father on a birth certificate, this automatically affords him fathers' rights. While being listed as a father could help support a claim for paternity, this alone does not establish paternity. There are several means to establish paternity; however, the goal of this process is to prove whether or not a man is the father of a child.

Is the family law system really stacked against fathers?

Many fathers in Phoenix, Arizona, who find themselves in the middle of a custody dispute with their children's mother may believe the common perception that, should they wind up in front of a judge, they will not get a favorable result in a custody case.