How Do I Challenge Being the Presumed father of a Child in Arizona?
If you were married at the time the child was born, the law presumes you are the father. However, this presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence, such as a paternity test.
To establish paternity through the court, one of the parents must file documents necessary to start a court case. This can be done during the mother’s pregnancy or any time before the child reaches the age of eighteen. Either the mother or the putative father must file a written "petition" with the Clerk of the Superior Court, stating the names and social security numbers of each person involved and indicating who the father is claimed to be. The person who files the petition must have it served on the other party, who then has an opportunity to respond. Usually, the court then orders that genetic testing be done. If the results of the test indicate a likelihood of paternity of 95% or more, the man is presumed to be the father. Most often the case is then resolved, but it is possible that a court trial may be necessary if the presumed father continues to dispute paternity. Persons considering filing a court action may wish to consult an attorney to assist them.
When a court case is concluded (and the person claimed to be the father is proven by genetic testing or otherwise to be the biological father), the court will issue an order establishing legal paternity. In some circumstances, the court also may order an amount to be paid for future child support, for any past child support that is due, an amount to be paid for the costs of the child’s birth and medical insurance coverage for the child. A parenting time (formerly called visitation) schedule may also be established by the court order.
Please see the following AZ statute:
25-814. Presumption of paternity
A. A man is presumed to be the father of the child if:
1. He and the mother of the child were married at any time in the ten months immediately preceding the birth or the child is born within ten months after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity or dissolution of marriage or after the court enters a decree of legal separation.
2. Genetic testing affirms at least a ninety-five per cent probability of paternity.
3. A birth certificate is signed by the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock.
4. A notarized or witnessed statement is signed by both parents acknowledging paternity or separate substantially similar notarized or witnessed statements are signed by both parents acknowledging paternity.
B. If another man is presumed to be the child’s father under subsection A, paragraph 1, an acknowledgment of paternity may be effected only with the written consent of the presumed father or after the presumption is rebutted. If the presumed father has died or cannot reasonably be located, paternity may be established without written consent.
C. Any presumption under this section shall be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. If two or more presumptions apply, the presumption that the court determines, on the facts, is based on weightier considerations of policy and logic will control. A court decree establishing paternity of the child by another man rebuts the presumption.