In Arizona, the subject of paternity may arise for two different reasons. On one hand, in terms of child custody or support, a father may refuse to acknowledge paternity. When the other Arizona parent denies paternity, you may feel like you are hitting a brick wall. Another scenario involves a mother denying a father’s biological connection to the child. In both of these cases, parents may want a paternity test.

If you are an unmarried couple, you need to establish paternity. In many cases, parents do this without contest. According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, the two can sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity. This normally happens at the hospital after the birth of a child. Parents can also fill out the form at the DCSS office.

It does not always end this neatly, however. If there is any contest, then the DCSS can refer the case to the Assistant Attorney General’s Office. This court hearing can establish paternity and lead to a child support order. If there is uncertainty about who the father is, then you can order a genetic test.

It is more beneficial to the child to have both parents established. It can benefit a child’s sense of identity, provides the child with medical history on both sides of the family and can affect social security, health insurance and more. If the court orders the DNA test, then the DCSS will pay for the test initially. However, once the court establishes who the father is and if the genetic test led to the discovery, the father will have to pay the costs of all testing.

None of the above is considered legal advice. It is for informational purposes only.