Parental Rights & Obligations

questions & answers

Question: My son's father and I have never been married. We have never filed anything through the courts. therefore, it has been my understanding that I am the custodial parent. What are his father's rights in this situation? His name is on the birth certificate, does that legally establish paternity?

Answer: If he signed the affidavit and you did not object, he is considered the legal father. Both parents are considered by the law to have equal rights to parent if there is no court order stating otherwise. You can take legal steps to establish that you are the custodial parent. Instead of custody, it is now called "legal decision making." You might want to get some legal advice to help you decide the best course of action. There are 3 programs in Arizona that you can use to get some inexpensive legal advice and guidance. One is the Modest Means Program. For a $75.00 fee, the Modest Means Program will arrange a one hour consult with an experienced attorney. The telephone number is (866) 637-5341. Both the Maricopa County Bar Association and the Pima County Bar Association have lawyer referral services that offer a 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney. Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $40.00. The telephone number is (602) 257-4434. Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $35.00. The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.

QUESTIONS

  • My son's father and I have never been married. We have never filed anything through the courts. therefore, it has been my understanding that I am the custodial parent. What are his father's rights in this situation? His name is on the birth certificate, does that legally establish paternity?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    Referral number 520-623-4625
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