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Arizona's Voluntary Paternity Program

Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child's father. And through the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), the state of Arizona has laws that establish a simplified civil process for parents to voluntarily acknowledge the paternity of a child that has been born out of wedlock.

As reported on the Arizona Department of Economic Security's website, the state's voluntary paternity programs are carried out through the Hospital Paternity Program (HPP).

Arizona's Voluntary Paternity Testing Program, a collaborative effort through HPP and Arizona hospitals, provides paternity establishment services for unmarried couples immediately after the birth of a child.

Many Phoenix family lawyers see establishing paternity as a critical step for some parents, as the legal establishment of a father can lead to other family law matters, including the custody of a child, adoption, inheritance, health care, and the support for a child. HPP in Arizona provides information to parents on genetic testing, paternity processes and procedures. The program also provides information on child support for new parents.

A father could be ordered to pay child support once the paternity of a child is established. With an experienced family law attorney, a father can also try to gain custody of the child. However, if the mother and father are not married, FindLaw states that the father often has a difficult time obtaining child custody. This is as long as the mother is providing reasonable care for the child and if the mother objects to a joint custody agreement.

If you are trying to find out more about the legal rights that come with claiming paternity, it may be worth your time to speak with a Phoenix family law attorney.

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