FAMILY LAW FAQ
I am not married to my child’s mother. How do I establish my paternity of our
There are several ways to establish paternity
Paternity can be established voluntarily at
the time of the child’s birth. Parents may complete a form acknowledging
paternity at the hospital where the child is born, and the form is sent directly
to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES).
paternity is not established at the time of the child’s birth, both parents may
file notarized statements with the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS).
The biological father’s name is then added to the child’s birth certificate.
Both parents may agree to establish paternity by filing one of the following
documents with the Maricopa County Superior Court: (a) an affidavit in which
both parents agree that the named father (or the "putative father") is the
biological father of the child, or (b) an agreement that the mother, the
putative father and the child will take a genetic test and be bound by the
results. A blood test can be arranged, for a small fee, through the DES Division
of Child Support.
When there is disagreement as to the
paternity of the child, one of the parents may file a Petition to Establish
Paternity, requesting the court to determine paternity. Generally, the court
will order the putative father to undergo genetic testing; if the test results
indicate the likelihood of paternity, he is presumed to be the biological father
and legal paternity is established.
Once paternity is
established, you may seek legal decision-making
authority and parenting time with your
child. The court may enter a child support order and determine the amount of
past support owed, but the court will not order past support back further than
three years from the beginning of the paternity action.