Paternity and DNA Testing
In our Phoenix family law practice, we
represent both mothers and fathers who want to establish the paternity of a
When a child is born to unwed parents, the Superior Court
may enter an order establishing paternity, which officially establishes the
identity of the biological father of the child. Once paternity is established,
the Court may also enter orders governing legal
decision-making (custody), parenting time and
Who Can Begin Paternity Proceedings?
According to Arizona law, proceedings to establish paternity — and to establish
legal decision-making (custody), parenting time and child support — may be commenced by:
Once the paternity petition is filed, the alleged parent must either admit or deny
paternity within a specified time frame. If paternity is denied, then the Court
will order the mother, child and alleged father to submit to a DNA test in
order to determine the likelihood of paternity.
Positive Paternity Results
If the results of the DNA test indicate that the likelihood of paternity is 95% or greater, the alleged father is presumed to be the parent of the
child. If you took a DNA test and you believe that the results are incorrect,
you must show by clear and convincing evidence that you or the alleged parent is
not the father of the child.
Entering Orders of Child Custody and Child Support
If paternity is established, then the Court may enter orders for
legal decision-making (custody), parenting time and child support.
The Court may order child support for the period between the start of the
paternity proceeding and the date that current child support is ordered to
begin. The Court will not enter past child support retroactive to more than
three years before the start of proceedings.
Paternity and Minors
If the alleged mother or father is a minor, the minor's parents or guardians may
be a party to the action. The parents may be held jointly or severally liable
with the minor until the he or she reaches the age of majority.