It's a good idea for mothers to establish paternity if they give birth to a child out of wedlock so that the baby's biological father can be legally determined. Paternity determinations will secure financial support as well as custody and visitation rights for both parents.
In Maricopa County, it's actually quite easy to establish paternity. The Maricopa County Superior Court branch states that paternity can be established without even going to court, as long as an Acknowledgment of Paternity is signed by both parents at the hospital when the child is born or anytime thereafter and then filed with the court.
However, if one party contests paternity allegations, a judge can order an alleged father to go through DNA testing so that paternity can be legally determined. Remember, fathers always have the right to challenge the results of a paternity test, even though modern DNA testing is considered to have a very high rate of accuracy.
Parents can go about establishing paternity in Maricopa County by filling out the proper forms, which can be picked up at the court’s Self-Service Center, the Department of Economic Security, Department of Health Services, or at a local hospital.
The Maricopa County Superior Court even offers a free family court workshop each month on the establishment of paternity in two different locations. The class is held on the third Friday of every month at the county’s Self Service Center Law Library in Phoenix and at the Southeast Self Service Center Law Library in Mesa. More information about the class can be found on the court’s website.
- Find a Phoenix Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Legal Significance of Paternity (FindLaw)
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