questions & answers
Question: My son is presently in the military and his girlfriend told him she is pregnant but does not want the child but that he may raise the child. He wants to know what he must do to keep sole custody of the child and have her relinquish her rights?
Any biological father of a child has the statutory right under Arizona law to apply for a finding of paternity. That law can be found at A.R.S. § 25-803. Several other laws in that same section of the code book explain the process by which a father may involve himself in the life of his minor child.
A father who applies for a finding of paternity has the right to ask the court for custody and parenting time as provided in A.R.S. § 25-408. Of course, such a father may also be required to pay child support, depending on the level of custody and parenting time he receives after a court hearing. A biological father may also voluntarily acknowledge his paternity. (A.R.S. § 25-812).
Your son may want to consider hiring an attorney to assist in this situation. Not only can attorney make sure that your son's rights are properly represented, an attorney can make sure that the proceedings are done properly.
After paternity and custody issues are resolved, it is possible for the natural mother to voluntarily terminate her parent-child relationship after the baby is born. This is subject to strict guidelines, notices, and procedures. This does not necessarily terminate the mother's obligation to pay child support. It is imperative that a termination of parental rights action be done correctly and according to the laws. Otherwise it could be subject to challenge down the line. Terminating parental rights is a huge decision. Feelings can quickly change once a baby is born. This is not the sort of thing your son and his girlfriend should try to "handle on their own." If the mother does want to sever her rights, it is important that you son speak with an attorney.
My son is presently in the military and his girlfriend told him she is pregnant but does not want the child but that he may raise the child. He wants to know what he must do to keep sole custody of the child and have her relinquish her rights?
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