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Arizona Paternity Questions & Answers

Paternity is the court process to establish the fatherhood of a child and both parents' rights and responsibilities with regard to children born outside of marriage. Both parents of a child owe an obligation of support for a child. If the father of a child refuses to acknowledge that he is the father of the child, a mother can file an action for Paternity to establish that he is, in fact, the father of the child.

How is Paternity Established?

Generally, paternity is either admitted or established through the use of blood tests. With modern DNA testing, paternity can be established to a near certainty. Arizona courts recognize DNA testing to establish paternity.

What if parentage is denied by the father or mother?

A father who denies that he is the parent can be compelled to submit to a blood test. A mother who denies that a man is the father of her child, can also be compelled to submit to a blood test to establish parentage.

What is the effect of establishing Paternity?

Once the issue of parentage is proven, the father can then be ordered to provide for past and future support of the child (including medical coverage and child birth expenses); however, the father can then also gain his rights of custody and visitation, in accordance with the best interests of the child.

Other than parentage, what else is established in a Paternity action?

Every Paternity action is different, but they generally all include similar issues: whether an individual is in fact the father of the child, the custody and visitation needs of the respective parents, past and future support and medical expenses regarding the child.

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