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Establishing paternity important for military members

Many Arizonans serve in the various branches of the military. They sacrifice much in their lives while serving, but most of them still have normal lives when they are not on a deployment. This means that they have families and friends, homes, cars, and many other things that civilians enjoy. Dealing with these issues is different for them, though, because they are oftentimes sent away to serve their country.

These individuals really have to make sure their life back home is order prior to deployment, especially if they are facing family law issues. For example, establishing paternity can be crucial for a member of the military. If a father is not married to the mother of his child, he has no rights to custody or parenting time until paternity is established. The child is also not able to receive child support from a noncustodial father, either.

Paternity is also important for service members because it allows their children to receive military family benefits, veterans' benefits, and Social Security benefits. It also protects fathers' rights to have contact with their children while they are deployed. Establishing paternity before deployment can be done quickly and easily. An individual merely needs to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity or complete a genetic test. If one needs to go to court to handle the matter, though, it is much easier to deal with it while the service member is home.

Service members in Arizona are forced to be away from their families for long periods of time. That is why it is important that they handle their family law matters while they are home. This will allow them to protect their legal rights, as well as their relationship with their children. These matters can be viciously contested, though, so it may be wise for these individuals to seek legal counsel.

Source: Arizona Attorney General, "Child Support Information for Servicemembers and Veterans" accessed on Feb. 6, 2017

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