Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are paternity lawyers in Yuma, Arizona who can help individuals and families seeking to resolve a range of issues related to paternity. Paternity is the process by which families establish the legal father of the child on documents and records, and for legal and financial purposes. When parents are married, the state will assume that the father of the child is the husband of the wife giving birth. However, when parents are unmarried, paternity must be established. Establishing paternity gives both the mother, the father, and the child certain important benefits. For the mother, establishing paternity is important to ensure that child support is paid. According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, in order for child support orders to be enforced, paternity must be legally established. For the father, establishing paternity grants father’s rights, including the right to visitation and even the right to make legal decisions for the child. For the child, paternity is important because every child deserves to have a mother and father. Additionally, when paternity is established, the child may also have the right to receive the father’s government benefits. With paternity, the child can be considered an heir by the state should the father pass away without a will. Another benefit of paternity is that it gives the child a sense of his or her medical history and sense of identity. Every child deserves to be supported by both his or her mother and father.
If you need help establishing paternity in Yuma, Arizona, consider speaking to Schneider & Onofry, P.C., paternity lawyers near you. Our attorneys can help you establish paternity and seek child support orders. Contact Schneider & Onofry, P.C. today to learn more.
How to Establish Paternity in Arizona
There are five ways to establish paternity in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security. If you are already married to the father of the child, the state will automatically assume that your partner is the father and paternity may not need to be established. However, if there is any doubt about who the father of the child is, or if the mother was married to another person at any point during her pregnancy, paternity may need to be legally established. What are some ways that paternity can be established?
- Both parents can sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form when the child is born. If both parents agree about who the father of the child is, then, when the child is born, an Acknowledgement of Paternity form can be signed. This can be done at the hospital and may not require additional steps or the assistance of an attorney.
- If the father was not present at the birth of the child and wasn’t able to sign the Acknowledgement of Paternity when the child was born, but if the father of the child is known and both parents want to establish paternity, families can visit the Arizona Division of Child Support Services and sign a Voluntary Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity. The form can be filed at a hospital.
- The Voluntary Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity can also be filed through a court or government agency seeking to establish paternity. In this case, the assistance of a paternity lawyer may not be required.
- Or, the Voluntary Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity can be found at a vital records office and filed there. In the case where both parents acknowledge paternity, a paternity lawyer may not be required.
- Finally, if one or both parents doesn’t want to acknowledge paternity, or if there is a paternity dispute, then a court case may need to be opened. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to speak to the paternity lawyers at the Schneider & Onofry, P.C. in Yuma, Arizona. Our firm can review your situation, help you understand the next steps, and fight for your rights and the rights of your child.
The process of establishing paternity can be initiated either by the mother, the child’s father, or by a government agency providing support for a child. When paternity is uncertain or in dispute, the father, the mother, and the child may all be required to submit to blood tests to determine paternity. If there is any doubt about who the father of the child might be, it may be wise to require blood tests. If you have questions about establishing paternity in Arizona, reach out to Schneider & Onofry, P.C., paternity lawyers in Yuma, Arizona.
Paternity, Child Custody, and Child Support
Paternity grants both parents certain important rights. Why might you want to establish paternity? Why is it important?
- Mother’s Rights. As a mother, establishing paternity is important because it allows you to seek an order for child support for your child. Mothers who have concerns that the father might assert parental visitation rights or custody rights when establishing paternity may want to speak to the qualified paternity lawyers at Schneider & Onofry, P.C. today. For example, if you are leaving an abusive relationship and have concerns about the father visiting your child if you establish paternity, Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are paternity lawyers who may be able to help you protect your rights and protect your child’s safety, while also ensuring that your child is supported by his or her father.
- Father’s Rights. Establishing paternity is important if you are a father and want to have a relationship with your child. Paternity can grant you visitation rights. It is important that every child have a relationship with his or her father, and paternity can grant you this.
These are just some of the benefits of paternity. Other benefits include benefits to the child. Psychologically, it is important for a child to have a father and mother listed on his or her birth certificate. It is also important for a child to know who his or her father is for medical history purposes. Finally, every child deserves the emotional and financial support of both parents. If you have questions about how to establish paternity or are in the middle of a paternity dispute, reach out of Schneider & Onofry, P.C. today. Our Yuma, Arizona paternity lawyers may be able to help you navigate the legal process of establishing paternity.