When a child is born in Arizona to two people who are not married, a complicated legal situation is created. While the child's legal mother is clear, it may be more difficult to determine the child's legal father. Paternity is important for the child so that the child can have a relationship with both parents, but also so that the child can receive the financial support of both parents.
Knowing the identity of a child's biological father is important for both Arizona parents and children. There are situations, however, in which paternity is unknown. In these cases, a father might not be aware that he has children or a mother might not know who the father is. Some cases involving unknown paternity are contested paternity cases. This may happen if a mother claims a certain man is the father but he denies it or if a man believes he is father but the mother denies it. Establishing paternity is often important in fathers' rights cases because it can prevent the father from being excluded from his child's life and enable him to better form a relationship with the child.