Family Lawyer serving Tucson for over 25 years
Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child's legal parent. Even if the names of both parents appear on a child’s birth certificate, that is not enough to establish a person’s paternity. A judge or a Clerk of the Court must legally establish paternity before a person is recognized as a child’s legal parent. This is true even if the parties later married each other after the child was born.
Paternity can be established by the agreement of both parties, through DNA testing, or by operation of law (aka legal presumptions).
Paternity must be legally established before a parent can be ordered to pay child support or be awarded decision-making authority and/or parenting time of their child.