How Can I Establish Parental Rights?

Every child has two biological parents. If the child’s parents are married to each other when the child is born, parentage is assumed. Sometimes, such as in cases where the parents are not married, parentage is not as easily determined. A father may wonder how he can establish parental rights. The law provides a method for establishing parentage.

Rights and Responsibilities of Parents

Parents have both rights and responsibilities. One of the essential rights of a parent is to spend time with their child. Additionally, parents are able to make decisions for their children. These decisions are regarding education, medical care, religious affiliation, and more. Parents are also responsible for providing financial support to their child. This ensures that the child is properly cared for including contributing towards their needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

How to Establish Fatherhood in Arizona

If both parents agree, they may both sign documents that establish the father of a child. Fatherhood can also be established through a paternity test. Once proven through DNA, the court will legally proclaim fatherhood of a child. Once established, the father may seek to define their legal decision-making and parenting time rights through court orders.

Seek a Legal Custody Arrangement

As a parent, you should protect your rights by seeking a legal decision-making and parenting time (formerly known as custody and visitation) arrangement. Generally, both parents are allowed to spend time with their child, and both share in making important decisions for them. A parenting plan provides a visitation schedule that gives parents time with their child. The parent with whom the child does not reside most of the time typically provides child support to the other parent. A parenting plan is provided through a court order after a hearing unless the parties are able to agree to the terms of a parenting plan without the need for court intervention.

Protect Parental Rights

When you and your child’s parent are no longer together, you may need to protect your rights. The other parent may want to relocate with the child or may make decisions without your input. This can be a cause of concern for a parent. You may fear that the child’s parent will take the child far away, and you will be unable to have regular visitation. If your decision-making and parenting time rights are established, you can object to relocation. The other parent must request a hearing to present the reasons why relocation is necessary. The judge will make decisions that are best for the child.

If you are seeking to establish parental rights, don’t go it alone. Call the experienced lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC to assist you with this complicated situation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Establish Parental Rights, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.