Paternity

questions & answers

Question: My 5 month old father just came into her life now and is threading me with taking custody, his not on the birth certificate, and asked me to abort. Does he have any rights?

Answer:

This is a very helpful article on child custody.  http://www.azlawhelp.org/articles_info.cfm?mc=1&sc=1&articleid=68 

CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME WHEN PARENTS ARE NOT MARRIED

Parents are free to make decisions about custody or parenting time on their own. When parents are unmarried and no order has been entered to establish parental rights, the biological father has no legal right to either custody or parenting time until paternity is established. He also has no legal obligation to pay child support to the mother until an order of paternity is entered. In Arizona, paternity can be legally established through the Superior Court, the Department of Health Services or the Department of Economic Security (see the Supreme Court booklet in this series titled Things You Should Know About Establishing Paternity for Your Child).

After legal paternity has been established, how are custody and parenting time decided?

As with other cases, custody and parenting time can only be legally decided by the Superior Court. The court must decide custody and parenting time based on the best interests of the child. If a court case to establish paternity has been started in the Superior Court, the court automatically decides custody and parenting time matters. If paternity has been established by voluntary process through the court, the Arizona Department of Health Services or the Department of Economic Security hospital paternity program, one of the parents must file a specific request with the court to have custody or parenting time legally decided.

If the parents are not married, should the mother have custody?

Until legal paternity is decided, the law presumes that custody of a child should be with the mother. However, when a court legally establishes paternity, the law directs that unless the court orders otherwise, custody of the child should be with the parent with whom the child has lived for most of the six-month period before paternity is decided. Of course, when the court decides custody or parenting time, the decision is always based on the best interests of the child. Accordingly, the court may or

QUESTIONS

  • My 5 month old father just came into her life now and is threading me with taking custody, his not on the birth certificate, and asked me to abort. Does he have any rights?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS