Updated: August 24, 2022
Parents in Arizona have a right to maintain relationships with their children, which is supported by a number of different state laws. Arizona law was created to help preserve the relationship that a child has with both a mother and father. Courts in Arizona are required to not interfere with these relationships unless it is necessary to do so. Despite this, many fathers in Arizona have questions about how courts interpret the role of a father in a child’s life.
DO COURTS RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF FATHERHOOD?
Yes. Even though courts once traditionally viewed the mother as the primary caretaker of the children, today courts recognize that fathers play a critical role in the development and growth of their children. Fathers have proven to be capable caretakers, and fathers who have an active presence in a child’s life can be influential in improving both the child’s academic performance and self esteem. Today, courts in Arizona recognize some distinct advantages to a child having a relationship with both parents.
HOW CAN A MAN IN ARIZONA PROVE HE IS A CHILD’S FATHER?
There are a number of reasons why a mother or father in Arizona might need to establish legal parental rights. Establishing paternity involves a government agency or court ruling that a man is a child’s father. In Arizona, paternity is most easily and quickly established through the signing of a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form. If the mother and father do not agree about whom the child’s father is, Arizona state law allows a more formal paternity process to be initiated. Both courts as well as government agencies have the ability to order blood or genetic testing to establish a child’s paternity.
WHEN ARE ARIZONA FATHERS REQUIRED TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT?
In some situations, one parent is awarded primary custody and the other parent is appointed noncustodian of the child. The custodial parent is responsible for the care of the child, while the non-custodial parent is often awarded visitation rights and required to pay child support. The purpose of child support is to provide financial assistance for the child’s upbringing. A child’s custodian has the right to seek child support from the non-custodial parent. Fathers who are named custodian have a right to seek child support payments. Fathers who have non-custodial rights can be required to pay child support.
WHAT RIGHTS DO FATHERS HAVE TO CUSTODY AND VISITATION?
Both mothers and fathers in Arizona have the right to seek child custody or visitation, and this right applies equally to both parents. This right exists no matter if the parents were married or not at the time the child was born. Arizona judges use the best interests of the child standard to make decisions about child custody. Courts begin decisions about custody or visitation with the assumption that the involvement of both parents in a child’s life is important.
SPEAK WITH AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
When a father believes that his rights to a relationship with a child have been violated or has questions about the extent of paternity, the assistance of an experienced attorney can be particularly helpful. Contact the Monahan Law Firm, PLC today to schedule a consultation with a Glendale paternity attorney.