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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Nov 17, 2016

There are many benefits to claiming paternity of your child. Being a biological father doesn’t always entitle you to be the child’s legal father. Establishing yourself as your child’s legal father grants you rights and obligations of your child. This article provides a brief overview on the paternity laws in Arizona as well as the benefits of paternity claims.

Establishing Paternity in Arizona

If both the mom and dad agree on the paternity of the child, signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form is the easiest way to establish paternity.

If the mom and alleged father don’t agree about who the father is, a paternity matter can be started by:

  • the child’s mother
  • a man who believes he is the father
  • the child’s guardian or the person the child is living with
  • a government agency that is providing welfare or health insurance benefits for the child

A paternity case can be started in the superior court where the mother, father or child lives. The court or the government agency have the power to order a genetic or blood paternity test.

Benefits of Claiming Paternity

Establishing paternity is beneficial on all ends. There are many reasons why seeking legal fatherhood is important:

  • Arizona courts can order one parent to pay child support
  • Courts can establish a parenting plan that sets custody and visitation
  • The child’s mother or guardian get financial support for the child
  • It allows the child’s father to get legal custody or visitation rights
  • It allows the father to be a part of the child’s major life decisions
  • Many times the child will benefit from have a father in his or her life
  • The child may be able to inherit from the father upon his death
  • The child may be able to collect benefits if the father is disabled

If you wish to establish paternity of your child, contact one of our lawyers who can help you with your case.