Only children born during a marriage are presumed to be of the marriage. If born out of wedlock, the Father must establish paternity through the Court. Before establishing paternity, Fathers have very little legal recourse if Mother decides to deny them parenting time, or even relocate the child.
Conversely, if you are alleged to be the Father, but you have your suspicions, you must take action to determine paternity. If not, you could be liable for child support for a child you did not spawn.
So how can Paternity be established in Arizona Courts?
- If you were married to the mother around the time of the conception of the child;
- Genetic testing affirms at least a 95% probability of paternity;
- If you are named on a birth certificate signed by the mother as well, if it is out of wedlock; or
- You and the mother have both signed a notarized statement claiming you to be the father.
You can argue a presumption of paternity, the simplest way to do so through a genetic test.
What if there are two individuals who a presumption of paternity applies? The court in this instance may make a decision based upon policy and logic as to who’s presumption of paternity will stand in court.
If you have been accused of being the father of a child that is not yours, or if you are trying to claim a child that is actually your child it is best to consult an attorney as to the options you have. Fatherhood is a significant responsibility, and not something you should face without guidance.