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Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC


Paternity and DNA Testing

In our Phoenix family law practice, we represent both mothers and fathers who want to establish the paternity of a child.

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 child support.

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:

  • Mothers

  • Fathers

  • Conservators

  • Best friends of children born out of wedlock

  • Public welfare agencies through the state of Arizona

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.



Phoenix paternity lawyer Joel Hoffman

Joel Hoffman

Phoenix paternity lawyer Erik Bergstrom

Erik Bergstrom

Phoenix paternity lawyer Joel Hoffman video

How can I establish paternity in Arizona?


Joel Hoffman


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