questions & answers

Question: If I was married when I adopted my daughter and I was the only one to sign the papers that day because my husband had to work, does my husband have any legal rights to our daughter?

Answer: More information is needed. If your husband is the birth father, then possibly. If the adoption certification that was filed lists your husband as the adopted father, then he may have parental rights. As far as custodial issues, please refer to the following information:

In Arizona, custody of a child is based on the best interests of the child. Arizona family court looks at matters in list below to decide child custody:
• The parent and child's wishes
• The child's change to the different environments
• Any history of domestic violence or child abuse
• Who has delivered primary care of the child
• The mental and physical health of everyone involved
• A child's relationship with either parent
• A parent's desire to have a meaningful and generous relationship with the other parent In Arizona, a court may give parents either sole or joint custody. According to best interest, an Arizona court may order joint legal custody and not order joint physical custody. A court will use the problems below to decide:
• Views by the parents for joint custody agreement according to best interest
• If a joint custody planning is possible
• Each parent's ability to connect and unite with each other on custody Arizona court does not give custody or visitation to a parent when there is a big risk of danger to the child. Counseling sessions may be offered. Courts consider:
• A parent's history of drug offenses
• If a parent has a murder conviction
• If a parent is a convicted sexual offender Click here to read the laws about custody: The method to make changes to a birth differs depending on the kind of legal change a person is wanting and how recently the record was filed. Calling to find out what is needed before coming to the office is best. More information can be found at this link: The Acknowledgment of Paternity form may be used to begin paternity for a child under the age of 18 if both parents are in agreement as to the identity of the biological father. These forms are offered at all birthing hospitals, the Office of Vital Records, the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Child Support Enforcement offices and many of the county registrar's offices. Both parents must sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity form and both signatures must be notarized or witnessed. Not signing the acknowledgment, or lack of a notary or witness on any signature will cause the form to be rejected. Acknowledgment of Paternity can also be used to change the child's last name to the father’s last name. Either parent may request to rescind the Acknowledgment of Paternity by completing the Waiver of Paternity Affidavit. More information can be found at this link:


  • If I was married when I adopted my daughter and I was the only one to sign the papers that day because my husband had to work, does my husband have any legal rights to our daughter?


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  • 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