According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 40.3% of all children born in the United States are born out of wedlock. With so many children being born to unwed partners, it’s more important now than ever before to understand the laws surrounding presumption of paternity in Arizona.
The Importance of Paternal Relationships
It’s very important for Arizona fathers to have positive relationships with their children. Having both parents involved with raising a child is beneficial to the child and can also be advantageous for the mother and the father – regardless of whether they are living together or are separated. Presumption of paternity laws exist in order to protect the bond of father and child when a baby is born out of wedlock and to allow the father to seek custody of the child in the event of a separation or divorce. Schill Law Group understands the importance of presumption of paternity laws and fights to protect the rights of biological parents in Arizona.
Establishing Presumption of Paternity in AZ
There are instances when the biological father of a newborn child is not immediately clear. Although a paternity test may be required at some point, there are other ways in which a presumed father can be established before any testing. One way in which a man may be presumed to be the father of a child is when the man was either married to the child’s mother 10 months before the baby’s birth, or the marriage ended within 10 months of the child being born. Another way in which a father’s paternity is presumed is when the mother and father both sign the birth certificate or an acknowledgment of paternity in the presence of a notary or two witnesses. The final way in with paternity may be presumed is after a paternity test has been taken and comes back with a result that shows at least a 95 percent probability that the man in question is the father.
What Presumption of Paternity Allows in AZ
When a man is presumed to be the father of a child, that presumption is what establishes a father’s right to seek out child custody in cases where he isn’t married to the child’s mother. In the event that the presumed father is legally married to the mother, the presumption of paternity allows him to seek custody in the event that the marriage is dissolved in the future. These types of actions can only be taken when a man is a presumed father. If a man believes that he is the biological father of a child, but is not the presumed father, he will need to take steps to establish paternity.
Rebutting Presumption of Paternity in AZ
The state of Arizona demands “clear and convincing evidence” when rebutting a paternity presumption. In some cases, a mother may need to rebut a presumed father’s right to custody if she believes he is not, indeed, the biological father. In other cases, a man who believes he is the biological father of a child may need to rebut the presumed paternity of another man. Whatever the case may be, this process will demand serious legal representation in order to properly gather the evidence and make the best case for the well-being of the child.