The role of the father in American society is constantly changing, and in many cases, fathers are taking on increasing amounts of parenting responsibility. As such, the courts are placing greater emphasis on allowing fathers to have custody and visitation with their children. However, there is still discrimination; as such, a father seeking custody needs an experienced Phoenix Arizona father’s rights lawyer to be his advocate. As a father himself, Mr. Thomas fully understands the stress and uncertainty with which you may be dealing.
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Paternity, child support and custody
Fathers face many issues when the law gets involved in their parental rights and responsibilities. In some cases, a father may want to prove that he has a right to visit and care for his child. In other cases, a man may seek to prove that he is not the father to a child. Paternity is a major factor in Arizona family law cases, and the Phoenix Arizona father’s rights attorney you hire must be well versed in paternity law.
If paternity is not established, you are not responsible for child support. Unfortunately, you will also not have any guaranteed right to visit the child or share custody. It is best to seek a paternity ruling as soon as possible
Under Arizona Revised Statute 25-812 you may voluntarily acknowledge paternity or seek a court order that establishes you as the biological father.
There is a presumption of paternity if any of the following apply:
The man in question and woman were married to each other within the last 10 months
The purported father signed the child’s birth certificate
Genetic testing establishes fatherhood with at least 95% certainty
In most cases, both biological parents are responsible for the child’s health and well-being. Even if you do not have actual, physical custody of the child, you may seek legal decision-making authority, and you will probably have at least some financial responsibility as well. Legal decision-making power is incredibly important because it allows the father a role in deciding how the child should be raised. A Phoenix Arizona father’s rights lawyer can help you strike the appropriate balance of legal and physical custody. Call the Thomas Law Office to discuss your rights today. Experience of Attorney Ronald Thomas With Father’s Rights Issues.
Proof of Paternity
When you’re told that your going to be a father, one of two things may happen: you might get caught up in the excitement of that prospect, or you might question whether the mother is telling the truth about this being your child. In either case, it’s important that you take your next steps wisely. Otherwise, you just might find yourself stuck making child support payments for a child who isn’t actually yours.
To protect yourself from getting roped into unfair or unfitting child support payments, take these three steps:
Do not sign anything. You may be asked to sign the child’s birth certificate, an affidavit of paternity, or a number of other documents. Do not sign a thing until you’ve discussed your case with a fathers’ rights attorney.
Seek a paternity ruling. Under Arizona Revised Statute 25-812, you may voluntarily acknowledge paternity or seek a court order that establishes you as the biological father. If paternity is not established, you aren’t responsible for child support. However, you also won’t have any guaranteed right to visit the child or share custody. It’s best to seek a paternity ruling as soon as possible.
Contact us immediately. Every family law dispute is a little bit different. Maybe you’re trying to claim your paternal rights; maybe you’re trying to prove that you aren’t responsible for child custody payments. In either case, the best thing you can do is sit down with Mr. Thomas for an informative consultation about your rights.
Because paternity is such a major factor in Arizona family law cases, it’s vital that you choose a local fathers’ rights attorney who is well-versed in paternity law. With our office located in Phoenix, we are readily available to consult with men facing paternity suits throughout Maricopa County. When you come in, Mr. Thomas will advise you further on which steps to take (and which to avoid) in order to legally protect yourself.
Child Custody, Visitation, & Support
As you can imagine, paternity impacts how other arrangements should be made. For example, it clearly wouldn’t be fair or logical for you to pay child support unless you claimed paternity or genetic testing revealed your as the father with at least 95% certainty. And even then, the child custody, child support, and visitation arrangements should reflect your wants, needs, and parenting ability, as well as those of the mother. As your attorney, Mr. Thomas will push for the outcome that best suits your particular situation.
Fathers’ Rights Resources
For more information about fathers’ rights in Arizona, explore these related articles:
Mr. Thomas’s role, as a Phoenix-based fathers’ rights attorney, is to fight for the outcome that is fair to you and right for your child or children. In your case, that may mean fighting to gain custody of your kids; negotiating a more fitting child support award; or refuting a paternity claim. Regardless of which rings true for your situation, your first step should be contacting our office for an educational consultation.