In paternity lawsuits, a man who is not a child’s biological father can file for custody of a child if the biological father is not emotionally or financially supportive of the child. But what happens if both the biological father and non-biological parent have both spent significant time with the child and have shown to be supportive? 

In a late-October ruling issued in Phoenix, an Arizona appeals court ruled for a paternity claim in favor of a man who is not a child’s biological father. The non-biological father had previously voluntarily claimed paternity. The court granted the paternity claim to the non-biological father even though another man could prove via DNA testing that he is the child’s genetic father. 

However, in providing “permanency and stability” for the child, the court ruled that voluntary acknowledgment of paternity “creates a presumption of paternity like that arising from a marriage or a birth certificate," US News & World Report reported

The reason the biological father wasn’t approved for paternity was that he failed to meet the timeframe necessary for contesting the voluntary paternity claim filed by the non-biological father. 

The child’s biological mother had said during the trial that neither of the men knew of the other’s relationship with the mother when the child was conceived. Reporting by US News & World Report does not mention whether the men knew each other. 

Additionally, the mother claimed that either man could have been the father. The court sided with the non-biological father who claimed voluntary paternity even though the mother also allowed the biological father to spend time with her child. Both fathers were deemed to have been positive influences on the child and developed meaningful relationships. 

How To File a Paternity Claim 

If you are looking to establish a paternity claim, you will need the help of an experienced divorce & family law attorney. The best resource for finding a skilled divorce & family law attorney is Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our network of top law firms and attorneys in Arizona can match you with an attorney tailored to your specific needs. Our partners have the experience and resources to match their winning records and compassionate client experiences. 

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no-obligation consultation and start your journey to marital solutions.

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