At the Gilbert law firm of John Bednarz, P.C., we advise unmarried parents in the East Valley about their rights and obligations in paternity cases. To learn how an experienced lawyer can help you protect your interests, contact us for a free initial consultation.
Call 480-507-6677 With Paternity Questions
Paternity cases usually come up in one of two ways — either when the state of Arizona brings an action to recover public assistance costs and establish child support payments from the unmarried father (or mother if the child is with the father), or when either parent starts the action not only to determine child support, but also to formalize the father’s child custody and visitation rights.
There’s an important distinction between these two approaches. When the state sues to establish paternity, custody and visitation issues will not be part of the case. In other words, the father runs the risk of long-term child support payments without any legal recognition of his right to participate meaningfully in his own child’s life.
Facing A Paternity Suit?
If you’re a father who’s been served with a state paternity suit, we can help ensure that your child support payments won’t be excessive either under the Arizona Child Support Guidelines or under the specific circumstances of your situation. We can also help you file a separate petition to establish your custody and visitation rights.
Many unmarried parents find it advisable to negotiate child support, custody and visitation arrangements in the same proceeding without any need for state intervention. Single fathers especially find a formal custody and visitation schedule valuable. It can help them avoid the problems that can result from the sole discretion that mothers will otherwise have in regulating fathers’ access to their children.
For additional information about the rights and responsibilities that go along with paternity under Arizona law, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable family law attorney. Call our Gilbert office at 480-507-6677 or use our online contact form to set up a free initial consultation.