In the state of Arizona, fathers and mothers have an equal legal right to be a part of their children’s lives and to have a say in decisions that are made involving their children. This is true even in situations where the mother and father have not married. Many fathers, however, do not know or understand how the laws protect their rights. Protecting fathers’ rights can also become a complex legal process in situations where paternity is unknown and when a father must formally assert his rights.

At Dorris Law Group, our Tucson parental rights attorneys have helped many fathers understand and enforce their legal rights. Whether you are seeking visitation or custody rights, working to prove a child is yours or trying to prevent an adoption from occurring, our attorneys are here to provide sound legal advice and protect your rights. With our experience and knowledge of Arizona fathers’ rights, we can also help families who are involved in the adoption process understand the rights of biological fathers in order to minimize problems that could arise.

Understanding Fathers’ Rights In Arizona

Decades ago, it was presumed that mothers, not fathers, should have primary custody of children following a divorce. As a result, courts would routinely award legal custody and the bulk of parenting time to mothers in connection with a divorce. Most people know that, nowadays, the guiding principle in court decisions regarding legal custody (now called “legal decision-making” in Arizona) and parenting time is not traditional notions of sex-based roles within the family. Rather, courts focus on what is in the “best interests” of the children involved. In that sense, courts recognize that fathers have equal importance in the lives of their children and their decisions on custody rights and parenting time follow suit.

Other aspects of a father’s parental rights can be more complicated and, oftentimes, are not as well understood. For example, Arizona law mandates that a husband’s consent is generally required in an adoption when a birth mother is married, even in some cases when the husband is not the child’s biological father. When a father has his name on the birth certificate and/or has asserted a claim to a child regardless of marital status, the father has a right to pursue custody and must consent before any adoption could take place.

If a father is not married and has not asserted a parental claim to the child, he still has parental rights and must be notified if the mother is planning an adoption. The father will have 30 days to file a paternity claim after receiving notification that the mother is planning to put the child up for adoption. If the father does not assert his rights, his consent is not required for the adoption.

Arizona has also established a putative father registry, which protects the rights of men who may have fathered a child. Fathers may add their names to this registry for as long as 30 days after a child’s birth. If the father does not register, he has waived his right to consent to or prevent an adoption.

Fathers Have Equal Rights Regarding Their Children In Arizona

The Arizona fathers’ rights described above are just some of the many protections the law provides to fathers in respect to their children. The fact is that a father has just as much of a claim to a child as a mother, and everyone involved needs to understand the legal implications of this.

At Dorris Law Group, our child custody attorneys have extensive experience with laws related to fathers’ rights and parental rights in Arizona. We can advise mothers and adoptive families of the impact that the rights of the father will have on their decisions, and we can help fathers assert a claim to their children.

Free Consultation With A Tucson Fathers’ Rights Attorney

Dorris Law Group is a firm that prides itself on making complex legal matters simple in order to empower and protect clients. With our legal insight, competence and unique perspective developed over years of practice, we can help you make informed choices in your case.

For advice on Arizona fathers’ rights and to find a qualified and caring parental rights advocate who can represent your interests, contact us online or call 520-622-4866 today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.