Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: what are the fathers rights if not married?


Any biological father of a child has the statutory right under Arizona law to apply for a finding of paternity. That law can be found at A.R.S. § 25-803. Several other laws in that same section of the code book explain the process by which a father may involve himself in the life of his minor child.

A father who applies for a finding of paternity has the right to ask the court for custody and parenting time as provided in A.R.S. § 25-408. Of course, such a father may also be required to pay child support, depending on the level of custody and parenting time he receives after a court hearing. A biological father may also voluntarily ackonwledge his paternity. (A.R.S. § 25-812).

Finally, A.R.S. § 25-814 sets forth a number of conditions under which a man is presumed to be the father of a child. A presumption of paternity means that unless there is evidence presented to the contrary, the court will recognize the paternity of the biological father under these circumstances. A litigant who wishes to overcome that presumption still has the option of trying to show that even though one or more of the listed circumstances exists, the alleged father is not actually the father. These circumstances include:
• He and the mother of the child were married at any time in the 10 months immediately before the birth of the child;
• the child was born within 10 months after the marriage ended;
• genetic testing with at least a 95% probability of paternity;
• a birth certificate is signed by the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock; or
• a notarized or witnessed statement is signed by both parents, acknowledging paternity, or two separate, substantially similar notarized or witness statements are signed by both parents acknowledging paternity.


  • what are the fathers rights if not married?




  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program


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