Some in Tempe, Arizona or the greater Phoenix metro area might take some umbrage at the term fathers’ rights, as if it implies the mom of a child has been depriving something that all dads deserve, no matter what the circumstances.
Our law office does represent dads in paternity cases, but we have a slightly different view of fathers’ rights, and that view comes out in the way we treat our clients and handle or child custody and paternity cases. For one, we recognize that, legally speaking, an Arizona father has no rights, or, for that matter, responsibilities, until he is willing to establish paternity through a court order. This is true even if there is no question he is the biological father of the child and has signed a birth certificate to that effect.
Therefore, our first step in any fathers’ rights case is to help a dad establish paternity through the necessary legal channels. While this is in and of itself a straightforward proceeding, it is often good to have an attorney assist since that attorney will be at the ready to help out with child custody and child support issues.
Once paternity gets established, our office then turns to the work of creating a child custody, visitation and support plan. At this point, the father is legally on the same footing as the mother, and he and the mom will be judged by the same legal standards. While it is often best when the mom and dad negotiate what they think is in their child’s best interest, our office recognizes that is sometimes necessary to resort to litigation and is more than willing to do so and do so with zeal.