Question: i have a friend who had a baby with a girl who he was dating and she left the baby with him, saying he can keep her that she wants to walk away from everything. What does he need to do to keep his daughter. And if she was to call the cops on him would he need to return the baby to his ex?
Answer: Please see our response to this question, which explains the rights of a biological father in Arizona, with links to the Arizona Revised Statutes concerning paternity. In Arizona, a father may voluntarily file a petition for paternity and custody. If his name is already on the birth certificate, a court will recognize that as proof of paternity, unless someone challenges it. If that is the case, the father needs to request custody only. If his name is not on the baby’s birth certificate, he’ll have to petition for a determination by the court that he is the father. Some counties have instructions and forms that can be followed in order to establish paternity and custody. They are fairly complicated. However, if the mother wants to walk away from everything, she does not need to respond to the petition. This is called a “default,” and the father would be given what he requested. In Maricopa county, the Superior Court offers a form to establish paternity along with custody and another to establish custody when paternity is already known. Pima county has a variety of family court forms available here. The forms for paternity are spread out over four documents.
May 31, 2011