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Susanne M. Sternberg P.C.

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A Phoenix, Arizona Paternity Attorney with the Right Balance of Compassion & Tenacity

Phoenix paternity attorneys assist people seeking to establish or contest the paternity of a child in the Arizona court system. Sternberg Law Office has significant experience handling paternity matters on behalf of both mothers and fathers in Maricopa County, providing clients with the right balance of compassionate support and aggressive advocacy.

As an experienced Phoenix family law attorney, Susanne Sternberg understands Arizona paternity laws and how they interact with issues related to child custody, child support, and parenting time. If parents are not married at the time of a child's birth, simply signing the birth certificate is not enough for the father to establish paternity. The mother or father must file a petition to establish paternity and receive a court order of paternity to obtain legal recognition of the father-child relationship. Once a paternity order is in place, the father and mother are invested with certain rights and responsibilities, and the child becomes eligible for certain benefits, such as:

  • The father has the right to parenting time with the child
  • The father has a responsibility to financially support the child
  • The mother may establish and enforce a father's child support obligation
  • The child is recognized as the father's legal heir
  • The child may be covered by the father's health insurance and may receive social security, military and/or veteran's benefits

Except in cases involving physical violence or abuse, establishing paternity generally promotes the well-being of the child beyond providing economic benefits. Knowing both parents helps children develop a sense of identity and emotional security.  Additionally, it may be important to the child's health for doctors to have knowledge of the father's medical history.

Contested Cases Require a Paternity Test in Arizona

Arizona paternity testing generally involves a DNA test to establish paternity. DNA testing is ordered only in contested paternity cases either to exclude an alleged father as the biological father of a child or to establish his paternity to a very high degree of probability. The party requesting the test must make a sworn statement that either alleges paternity, by showing a reasonable possibility of paternity, or denies paternity. In cases of disputed paternity, a court can order genetic testing of the child and all parties.

An Experienced Phoenix Paternity Lawyer Can Help You Prove or Contest Paternity

As with all family law matters, we understand that issues surrounding paternity can be very sensitive and life-impacting for all people involved. If you need assistance proving or contesting paternity, please contact Sternberg Law Office for a complimentary telephone consultation with an experienced Arizona paternity lawyer. We are a flexible, non-traditional legal practice, offering convenient appointment times to accommodate our clients.