Sole practitioner | 35+ years of experience | strong legal advocacy

Honest answers and
straightforward advice
request your free case evaluation

Paternity Testing and Establishment of Parental Rights in Arizona

Posted By Legal Team | August 12 2023 | Firm News

Maintaining your rights as a parent is essential to your involvement in a child’s life. Establishing paternity will facilitate the right of a parent to participate in legal decisions that affect a child. And determining paternity can help to create parental time, fostering a relationship with a child. 

Establishing Paternity in Arizona

Paternity can be established by three methods in Arizona. Arizona law allows for paternity to be acknowledged voluntarily, presumed, or can be determined by a court. The most evidenced-based method of determining paternity is through DNA testing. DNA testing can determine paternity at a rate of 95% or more when it is in question. 

Other methods of presuming paternity do not contain the scientific validation of DNA testing. Working with a Scottsdale family law attorney can help you establish paternity.

Filing a Petition for Paternity

When both parties agree, paternity testing is straightforward and does not require legal intervention. However, when one party is reluctant or refuses to participate in paternity testing, a court order can mandate it. This petition with the court can be filed before or after the child is born.

The following people or entities can file a petition to establish paternity:

  • Father
  • Mother
  • Guardian or conservator
  • Same-sex partner
  • The state
  • A county welfare agency

Legal action can be taken against the unwilling parties.

Parental Rights in Arizona

If the parents of a child do not cohabitate, a petition can be filed with Arizona courts to establish parenting time and legal decision-making authority. When parents can work together, they can create a formal agreement, filed with the court, that grants parental rights for each parent as long as it is determined by the court to be fair and conscionable. Opting to settle for an informal agreement can create the potential for disrupting a parent’s rights if conflicts arise.

The Benefit of a Court Order in Contentious Parenting Relationships

A court order may be essential in establishing your rights as a parent. There are benefits to establishing your rights.

Legal Decision-Making Authority

Establishing paternity allows the parent to participate in legal decision-making for the child. These decisions include religious affiliation, education, medical decisions, and other factors critical to a child’s development as long as this is in the child’s best interest. A parent’s input into a child’s life is a tremendous determinant of a child’s direction and progress in life.

Parenting Time

Parenting time allows for the formation of a quality relationship and bond. A child’s development benefits from time with each parent. And these interactions enable a parent to assess the needs of a child, offering vital structure and guidance.

Ensures a Child’s Proximity

A court order can also facilitate keeping your child close enough for regular contact. Consistent visitation is vital to a successful parent-child relationship. 

An order can also prevent a child from being relocated to an area more than 100 miles away. Relocation is only permissible through parental consent or an order from the court.

Work With a Scottsdale Attorney to Establish Your Parental Rights

To be an essential part of your child’s life, you may need to take steps to establish paternity and gain parental rights. A child deserves the involvement and relationship that each parent brings to their life. 

Schedule a free case evaluation today and find the support you need at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau. Supporting parents in sensitive parental rights cases is one of the many areas where attorney Karen Schoenau succeeds. Our office provides Arizona family law services in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe.

Request a Consulation

  • *required fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

FULLY OPERATIONAL DURING COVID-19 CRISIS: We are OPEN. Telephone and Video Conferences Available. Close