Father and his son at sunset

Did you sign the birth certificate and yet you still don’t get to be as involved as you want to?

At McMurdie Law, we greatly enjoy helping fathers get involved with their children and establish their parental rights.  We have worked with young fathers who want to help with new babies or just protect the rights they have established by raising their children over time without the protection of being married to the mother of their children.  We enjoy assisting young families to learn how to co-parent and share the responsibility of raising children in the best way they can for the sake of the children.

Paternity is the legal or biological relationship between a child and his or her biological parents as recognized by the court.  Many people believe that if they simply signed the birth certificate that they have established paternity, but this is not true.  A court has to go further than that, and issue an order of paternity.  A child’s paternity may be relevant in relation to issues of legitimacy, inheritance and rights to a putative father’s title or surname, as well as the biological father’s rights to custody that include time with your children and obligations for child support.

In Arizona, when a child is born to a married couple, it is presumed that the father is the biological and legal father of the child, unless you prove otherwise.  At McMurdie Law Office and WHYmediate Mediation Services, we have handled cases where fathers have paid child support for children they thought were their biological children, to learn after DNA testing that the child was from a different father.  In consideration of wrongful paternity, these presumptions may be rebutted by evidence in a disputed child custody and child support cases. This can occur during a divorce, annulment, or legal separation or when establishing paternity through DNA testing.

Due to the social evolution that has raised the rights and expectation of the involvement of fathers with their children, parents have more frequently begun to examine fathers’ rights in child-rearing and family planning. Fathers’ rights can include a father’s right to parenting time with his children, major decisions including schooling, medical care and religious education, and the right to be consulted before adoption, and the right to time off from work to raise his child.  At McMurdie Law Office and WHYmediate Mediation Services we like to see both parents involved in raising children and we support fathers to be more involved in child rearing if that is best for the children. Contact us for information on how McMurdie Law Office and WHYmediate Mediation Services may assist you in your paternity case.

Ed N. – April 2015

Cristi is FANTASTIC! I met with Cristi about my existing divorce settlement to see what some of my options were …

Frank S – February 2014

Have known Cristi and her office for years! Great service she provides to the public and her clients. She goes …