How Does Arizona Deal With Unmarried Mothers’ Rights?

Mother and son walking while holding hands

The legal landscape surrounding unmarried mothers’ rights in Arizona can be complex, and disputes over paternity, child custody, and child support can further complicate matters. At the Law Office of Justin Fernstrom PLLC, we advocate for the rights of unmarried mothers, helping women across Arizona protect their families and safeguard their interests.

What Are My Rights as an Unmarried Mother?

According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1302, if a child is born outside of marriage, the mother is considered to be the legal custodian of the child until paternity is established. This means that until the father has been confirmed, the mother is granted the authority to make all plans and decisions regarding the child’s care without consulting the father. Unmarried mothers also have the right to keep the child away from their father, put their child up for adoption, and make all medical decisions for their child.

Unmarried mothers’ rights in Arizona are broad and all-encompassing, providing mothers with all legal parental rights and responsibilities. These rights shift once paternity has been established, however, as Arizona law presumes that both parents should have equal responsibility for the child’s care and upbringing. The courts may mandate a new custody arrangement once paternity is established.

How Is Paternity Established?

Unmarried fathers are responsible for establishing paternity before they can gain parental rights and responsibilities of their child. Based on the requirements set forth in Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-814, paternity can be established in three ways:

  • DNA testing proves the identity of the father with at least 95% probability of paternity.
  • Each parent’s signature appears on the birth certificate of the child.
  • Both parents sign a statement that acknowledges the father’s paternity.

Paternity can be established on a voluntary basis, meaning that you and the child’s father both acknowledge his paternity, or can be confirmed by obtaining a court order. Once paternity is established, you and the child’s father may move forward with creating a custody agreement and parenting plan that works for your family.

Can I Receive Child Support From My Child’s Father?

Child support is a key component of unmarried mothers’ rights in Arizona. It is important to note that you must first establish paternity before you can receive child support from your child’s father. With the help of your attorney, you can file a Request for Child Support Services (available in English or Spanish), which is used to initiate the process of collecting child support.

How Can the Law Office of Justin Fernstrom PLLC Help Protect and Assert Unmarried Mothers’ Rights in Arizona?

As an unmarried mother, it can be difficult to navigate custody agreements, child support orders, and important decision-making regarding your child. At the Law Office of Justin Fernstrom PLLC, we advocate for unmarried mothers’ rights in Arizona, working diligently to help unwed mothers protect and assert their rights.

Our team of experienced attorneys will help you navigate even the most complex family law matters and achieve a favorable outcome for your case. To learn more about how we can help, consider scheduling a consultation with us at (602) 560-7494 today.

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