How do I establish paternity and get custody rights?

UPDATED: Sep 4, 2012

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How do I establish paternity and get custody rights?

I came back from deployment to find out that my ex had gave birth to my first little girl. My ex continues to tell me 1 day that I am the dad and another day that I’m not. She keeps threatening that she will take my daughter to Mexico and I’ll never be able to be apart of her life. My concern is I’m really trying to find a way to take a DNA test and some how get custody of my little girl. I really don’t know where to start because the mother is so unwilling to allow me to be apart of my little girls life. What do I do?

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Family Law, Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney as to your issues. He or she will advise you how to get a DNA test with your potential child informally or if your "ex" will not cooperate through a court order after a petition to determine paternity is heard. Assuming you are deemed the father, then there needs to be a custody agreement entered into between you and the "ex" via a stipulation and if that is not an option, after a court hearing is held on the issue.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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