The Phoenix Family Law News Blog - Find a Phoenix Family Attorney

Paternity in Phoenix

Paternity is the legal establishment of a child’s father – often through the use of DNA testing – in order to ensure the biological parent is fulfilling his legal duties to his child. If the mother is married at the time of the child’s birth, the default assumption is that her husband is the father, thereby establishing legal paternity. If the mother is not married, the alleged father must sign a voluntary declaration of paternity. Legally-established paternity brings certain rights and responsibilities to the man, including financial support of the child, custody and visitation rights.

If paternity needs to be established or there are reasons to deny the privileges of paternity, a Phoenix Family Law attorney is best equipped to help enforce your rights as a parent.

Recently in Paternity Category

Father’s day is a time for families to get together and celebrate fathers of all kinds. But what if you’re unable to be with your child this Sunday due to disputed paternity?

Establishing paternity is a crucial step in gaining parental rights, including the right to visit your children or to object to an adoption. Below, we’ve included a few things for fathers to keep in mind when establishing their paternity.

Father's Day Could Shed Light on Fathers' Rights in Arizona

Children across the state of Arizona are getting ready to honor their dads this Sunday for Father's Day. This is a happy occasion for many fathers, but Father's Day may also be a time for some to question their fathers' rights as if they are not married to the mother of their child.

A biological father in Arizona has the right to apply for a paternity determination. Once paternity is established, the father has the right to ask the court for custody or reasonable parenting time under Arizona Revised Statute 25-408. Keep in mind, a non-custodial father could be ordered to pay child support once paternity is established.

Establishing Paternity in Maricopa County

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.

A new policy came about last July in the state of Indiana that required unmarried parents to provide Social Security numbers in order to establish paternity, which would mean that illegal immigrants would have difficulties establishing themselves as parents of their own children. However, the Indianapolis Star reported that a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction this week barring this policy in the state.

District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that the policy violates the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." The state's Attorney General's Office will now have to decide whether to appeal the ruling.

Save Money on Paternity Testing Labor Day Weekend

Establishing paternity can sometimes be a critical step in family law cases regarding child support, child custody, visitation, and adoption. While such testing procedures can sometimes be expensive, the paternity testing company Arizona Mobile DNA Services has announced through a press release that they will be giving discounts on Labor Day. People in need of a paternity test can receive a discount of $50 at Arizona Mobile DNA Services, where a court admissible paternity test typically costs a minimum of $400 with the company.

Brian McKnight Story Show's Importance of Paternity Testing

Miriam Lee, of Florida, sued soul singer Brian McKnight last year hoping to get child support for her 14-year-old son. According to the Toronto Sun, the mother claimed that Brian McKnight was the father of her teenage son and had an attorney convince a judge to make a default ruling in her favor.

Because the performer never addressed the child support claim, the judge ruled that he was to pay $341,640 for 14 years of child support. Yet Brian McKnight took the smart approach and decided to participate in a paternity test after the ruling. Now, the results are in and they show that Brian McKnight is not the father of Miriam Lee's son, the singer doesn't have to pay any money.

Paternity Testing Now More Available in Cochise County

Here's some good news for Arizona residents. The Cochise County Health Department is now offering DNA paternity testing through the DNA Diagnostics Center at all five of its locations, now having testing centers through the Benson Health Department, Bisbee Health Department, Douglas Health Department, Sierra Vista Health Department, and Willcox Health Department.

The Tucson Citizen reports that expanding opportunities for paternity testing can help some mothers collect child support  from the child's father and can also help fathers dispute false allegations of impregnation. Yet paternity testing can be expensive in Cochise County, so it's a good idea to establish paternity only when it's really necessary for a legal procedure. The going rate to test one child and one alleged father is $475, with an additional $75 for each cheek swabbing, which is how the DNA samples are collected.

Bobby Fischer's Body Exhumed For Paternity Test

Bobby Fischer, who is perhaps considered the greatest chess player of all time, has been lifted from his grave so that DNA samples can be taken for a paternity test. The chess legend died two years ago from degenerative renal failure and was buried in Iceland.

Yet an interesting case has come up where courts have found it necessary to take DNA samples from the chess champion so that paternity can be established. When Bobby Fischer died, he left no will and it was believed that he had no heirs. However, the New York Times reports that a woman is now claiming that Bobby Fischer had a child with her and that her 9-year-old daughter Jinky Young is his daughter. If this is true, the child could be the sole heir and entitled to his estate, which is estimated to be worth $2 million.

Over the Counter Paternity Tests Now Sold in Stores

So you're pregnant, but you're not quite sure who the father is. It's okay, because DNA testing is now easier than ever. There's now even an over the counter paternity test called Identigene that is available in local pharmacies and drug stores. states that with Identigene, a DNA sample is collected from each paternity test participant using a cheek swab. The swabs are then sent into an accredited DNA paternity testing laboratory and the results are sent back within 3-5 business days. The Identigene DNA collection kit cost just $30 and the laboratory fee is $119, making the total cost just under $150.

How to Establish Paternity in Arizona

Paternity often needs to be established when a child is born to parents who are not married to each other and if the father of the child is unknown. If both parties are in agreement on paternity, then there's no need for DNA testing. However, if one party contests paternity allegations, then there's often a need for such testing. This is a brief overview of paternity in Arizona.

Issues of paternity often arise in cases involving child support, but the results of a paternity test can also be important for the courts when it comes to issues of adoption, inheritance, custody, and other family law issues. When there's a dispute over the paternity of a child, it's important to get Phoenix family lawyers involved so that both sides can be represented fairly. The Phoenix family lawyers know that there are several ways in which parents can go about establishing paternity in the state of Arizona. The Judicial branch of Arizona states that one way to establish paternity is for a judge to enter a court order that mandates paternity testing. The state's Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) may also establish paternity without going to court.