Phoenix, AZ


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Child Abandonment in Arizona

Is abandoning a child ever legal?

Arizona divorce attorneys are accustomed to parents fighting over custody of their children as, more often than not, both parents want sole or joint/shared custody. Except in particular circumstances, courts generally favor both parents making the important legal decisions regarding their child and deem shared involvement after divorce to be in the best interest of the child.

In Arizona, custody is called “legal decision-making” and it refers to the power to make important decisions about and on behalf of the child-- such as education, healthcare, religious upbringing, activities, and personal care. In addition, where the child will physically reside is known as “parenting time”.

There are several factors related to the well-being of the child that the court considers when deciding which parents will be granted legal decision-making and parenting time.
Read more . . .

Monday, October 16, 2017

Arizona Ruling Rocks Same-Sex Parental Rights

Q: Should paternity rights in Arizona be gender-neutral?

The Arizona Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, has ruled in the McLaughlin case, that paternity rights in Arizona would be interpreted as gender-neutral. 

The impact of this ruling is a legal victory in same-sex Arizona legal decision-making and parenting time cases for non-biological intended parents. 

Read more . . .

Monday, August 14, 2017

Establishing Paternity in Arizona

Q: Why and how is paternity established?

Establishing paternity in Arizona can benefit both the child and biological father by creating "legal, emotional, social and economic ties" between them.  Paternity is defined as the state of being a father, so establishing paternity is proving through genetic DNA testing that a man is someone’s biological father.
Read more . . .

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Prince Dies Without A Will & Without Any Known Children

Prince Dies Without A Will & Without Any Known Children 

When the news of Prince’s death broke, one of the first things that popped into my mind was that it will be really interesting to see what sort of estate plan he has in place. While this may sound a bit callous, it is in fact a testament to my admiration for him as a musician and trail-blazer in the world of music law.

Prince was no stranger to the legal system. You may remember back in the 1990s he actually changed his name to an unpronounceable “love symbol” while he was involved with a legal dispute with Warner Brothers over the rights to his music. He was also well known in the legal world for filing lawsuits against people who uploaded his music or image to the internet without his permission.

Read more . . .

Friday, May 22, 2015

Determining Fatherhood in Arizona

How Does the Arizona Paternity System Work?


If you are a father, you have the legal responsibility to provide support for your minor child unless the mother is willing and able to totally financially support the child and does not want your help. Even if you do not want a role in raising the child, once paternity has been established, your financial assistance will be required. If you do want to get involved and if a paternity test shows you are the father, you can make a legal claim for custody or visitation. 

There are several ways paternity can be established in Arizona,

• There is a voluntary process by the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) where unmarried parents come to a DCSS office and open a case to establish paternity and child support. This Voluntary Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity is completed by both parents and filed by DCSS.

• If paternity is unclear or denied, either party can have genetic testing done at the local DCSS office. If the results are 95% or greater, the agency files the results with a Request for an Order of Paternity to the court. The parents would receive a copy of this order.

• DCSS may refer the case to the Assistant Attorney General’s Office for a court hearing to determine paternity and seek a child support order if one of the potential parents is uncooperative. 

• A Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity establishing legal parentage completed by the parents can be filed with the court or an administrative agency.

• Unwed parents can avoid DCSS and opt to establish paternity and potentially have a child support order issued through the state court system. This will entail fees and costs, but enables the parties to have more control over the process, instead of a state agency. In most cases, the court orders DNA tests to determine paternity.

Whether you are the mother of a child seeking assistance or find yourself facing claims that you’re the father of a child in Arizona, the family law attorneys at Cohen Family Law in Phoenix can help. They routinely guide clients through the complex paternity process and provide representation in child support and custody cases. Call 602-714-8898 to schedule your free consultation. 


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