Establishing Legal Paternity

Our law firm will fight for your rights

Paternity is the key to establishing parental rights for a father. When a child is born during marriage, the law presumes that the husband is the biological father of that child. When a child is born outside of marriage, there is no such presumption. It is then important to establish paternity to determine the rights and responsibilities for the child. The Mesa family law attorneys at Brown, Naegle, Crider & Jensen LLC know how to navigate such complex cases.

Why paternity is important

Establishing legal paternity can play a major role in key areas including child support and child custody. Until paternity is legally established, the child cannot claim financial support from the father. Additionally, the child may not be eligible to obtain other benefits through the father, which might include an inheritance, Social Security, military benefits and insurance.

At the same time, the father has no custodial or parenting time with the child. This means the father could be prevented from participating in decisions made for the child, including education and medical treatment. It can also make it difficult or impossible for the father to spend time with his child, which can be detrimental to both the father's and child's well-being.

How to establish paternity

Simply listing a father's name on a birth certificate is not sufficient enough to establish paternity. The state of Arizona requires that a legal father be established for a child. This can be accomplished by one of the following:

  • Court establishment
  • Establishment through the Department of Economic Security
  • Establishment through the Department of Health Services
  • Voluntary establishment through the court

Once any of these procedures is completed, the biological father then becomes the child's legal father and paternity is established.

The help you need

If you need help with establishing paternity, Mesa family law attorney Brad Crider will walk with you through every step of the process. Our goal is to keep the process as simple as possible for you and fight for the best interests of your child. Call us today at 480-378-9000 to schedule a free consultation.

3850 E Baseline Rd Suite 112
Mesa, AZ 85206
local phone: (480) 378-9000