Paternity

questions & answers

Question: My 25yr old daughter was with a guy she now has two kids with. He's had her arrested and put a order of protection on her for him and their daughter. She is going thru family court to get back her parenting rights. While this was going on she was pregnant with their 2nd child except he didn't know, now he knows and is requesting.a paternity test. Can he take this new baby away from her? How can she protect her new baby from him? I'm afraid he will take Jim from her and it will break her heart. She's a good mom & he's a good liar.

Answer: In the event that a couple is not married, Arizona law presumes that the mother has full custody of a child unless paternity is established through the court.  If the couple was married, the court will assume that the husband is the father until a paternity case has been filed and proved otherwise.  After paternity has been established, either parent can file with the court for custody or parenting time arrangements.  

In cases regarding child custody, it is the duty of the court to make a decision based on what they believe to be in the best interests of the child.  Arizona Revised Statue 25-403 outlines what the court will consider when making its decision about custody and parenting time.

25-403. Legal decision-making; best interests of child
A. The court shall determine legal decision-making and parenting time, either originally or on petition for modification, in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court shall consider all factors that are relevant to the child's physical and emotional well-being, including:
1. The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child.
2. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest.
3. The child's adjustment to home, school and community.
4. If the child is of suitable age and maturity, the wishes of the child as to legal decision-making and parenting time.
5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
6. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent. This paragraph does not apply if the court determines that a parent is acting in good faith to protect the child from witnessing an act of domestic violence or being a victim of domestic violence or child abuse.
7. Whether one parent intentionally misled the court to cause an unnecessary delay, to increase the cost of litigation or to persuade the court to give a legal decision-making or a parenting time preference to that parent.
8. Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse pursuant to section 25-403.03.
9. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding legal decision-making or parenting time.
10. Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.
11. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under section 13-2907.02.
B. In a contested legal decision-making or parenting time case, the court shall make specific findings on the record about all relevant factors and the reasons for which the decision is in the best interests of the child.

QUESTIONS

  • My 25yr old daughter was with a guy she now has two kids with. He's had her arrested and put a order of protection on her for him and their daughter. She is going thru family court to get back her parenting rights. While this was going on she was pregnant with their 2nd child except he didn't know, now he knows and is requesting.a paternity test. Can he take this new baby away from her? How can she protect her new baby from him? I'm afraid he will take Jim from her and it will break her heart. She's a good mom & he's a good liar.

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