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How can paternity be established in Arizona?

Establishing paternity in Arizona is important for a variety of reasons. First of all, once paternity is established, the child's mother will be able to collect child support from the child's father, which could be vitally important to providing the child with the quality of life needed to grow and thrive. Moreover, a man who has been legally determined to be the child's father can seek visitation rights so he can develop a meaningful relationship with the child. Finally, knowing who his or her father is can provide a child with emotional security, as well as a sense of family history, which could be especially important with regards to his or her family's health history.

There are a number of ways paternity can be legally established in Arizona. One is through a Voluntary Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity. Both parents will sign this document, and then it will be filed by the Division of Child Support Services via the Hospital Paternity Program. A Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity can be obtained at the hospital where the child is born, and at all Vital Records offices.

Another way to establish paternity for legal purposes is through DNA testing. If the DNA test returns a result of at least 95 percent certainty that the man is the child's biological father, the Division of Child Support Services will send the results to the court, combined with a Request for an Order of Paternity. This order will be sent to the child's mother and father.

These are two ways in which a man can be established as a child's father for legal purposes. Establishing paternity is very important for a child's well-being. Being a child's legal father gives a man legal obligations to fulfill, such as child support, but it also gives a man the chance to pursue his fathers' rights.

Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security, "Establishing Paternity," accessed on April 23, 2017

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