What Are The Child Custody Rights Of A Mother In Arizona? | Law Offices of Gillespie Shields

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What Are The Child Custody Rights Of A Mother In Arizona?

If you are single or going through a divorce, your mother’s rights are different. If you are a married mother, you and the child’s father are believed to have equal legal rights to view and participate in key decisions about the children, such as medical care, education, and religious instruction. Who makes key choices for your children, such as health and education, is referred to as legal decision-making.

Until a court rules differently, married moms (and married dads) have shared legal decision-making authority. When each parent sees their children is determined by the parenting time schedule.

When it comes to your children, if you are an unmarried mother and paternity and/or father’s rights have not yet been proven, you have a lot more authority than an unmarried father. Without the father’s agreement or authorization, you may give the child up for adoption, take the child away from him, deny him access to the child, or make any other major choices.

However, if paternity is proved and the unmarried father files a Petition to Establish, he may be granted rights to visit and make choices about his child.

Paternity can be proven legally in three ways. First, based on the findings of a test that indicates a 95% chance that the man is the father. Second, paternity is inferred if both parents sign the birth certificate of a kid born out of wedlock. Third, paternity is proved if both parents sign a declaration in front of a notary naming the father.

Note that if there is substantial proof that the guy is not the father, a judge might rule against this third method of proving paternity.

Paternity can be established in three ways by the court. First, paternity is accepted if the father files a response acknowledging fatherhood. Second, the court has the authority to request a DNA test. Third, paternity can be established if the father refuses to appear in court or react to legal inquiries.

Paternity must be proven when an unwed mother seeks assistance through a court order. Sometimes dads refuse to cooperate because they do not want to financially support their children.

It is recommended that if the father seeks custody, the mother do so as well. Unless there is a custody order, it is presumed that both parents share equally in making choices for the child in Arizona. The unwed mother’s standing in connection to the child is solidified by getting the custody order.

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By Azwatchdog – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5816262

Mother’s Sole Custody Rights

A woman might have exclusive physical custody of her child, which means she is the only one who sees her. That can be expanded to sole physical and legal custody, which means the child only resides with one parent and has sole decision-making authority over the child.

If the other parent is physically unable to care for the child, has a serious drug or alcohol problem, or has a history of abuse or neglect, an unwed mother can get exclusive physical and legal custody of the child. An unwed mother might also argue that the father has not been actively involved with the child or has refused to financially support the child.

Unmarried Mothers in Arizona

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, unwed mothers gave birth to 45 percent of children in Arizona in 2015. The average percentage in the United States is 40%.

Although not all unwed moms are teenagers, the majority of them are. Teen moms face a slew of additional issues beyond what you might expect: poverty, supplying basic requirements for themselves and their children, health issues, education, and reckless conduct in general. The requirement of providing adequate support, such as food stamps and low-income housing, comes at a significant financial cost to society in this circumstance. In Arizona in 2013, there were around 17,000 unwed moms who were teens.


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