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Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ

At Jensen Family Law in San Tan Valley AZ, we have over 30 years of experience in winning family law and divorce cases in San Tan Valley Arizona. We understand that divorce can be one of the most stressful, difficult, and uncertain times of your life. As family law lawyers in San Tan Valley and divorce attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ, we strive to provide passionate, honest, compassionate, and aggressive legal representation to put you at ease and protect your legal rights at whatever cost.

We are the experts in San Tan Valley Arizona in all types of family law such as Annulment, Child Support, Child Custody, Divorce, Divorce Mediation, Paternity, Spousal Support, Community Property Laws, Adoption, Grandparents Rights in Arizona, Termination of Parental Rights, Pre-nuptial agreements, and Divorce for Business Owners. Because we bring over 30 years of experience, we understand what judges in Arizona are looking for in a successful case. This allows us to be aggressive with each case to ensure we provide the best outcome for our clients. We also have one of the best female divorce attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ.

 

Best Divorce Attorney in San Tan Valley AZ

Nobody in San Tan Valley AZ gets married with the intent to divorce, but even with the best of intentions divorce can happen. When the unfortunate prospect of divorce arises, it is important to know your rights and understand the law and the marriage dissolution process in San Tan Valley Arizona. At Jensen Family Law in San Tan Valley AZ our divorce lawyers in San Tan Valley AZ, we help make this process as quick and painless as possible. Our goal is to not create a war between both parties, but we understand that at times an opposing party may be confrontational, hiding assets, abusive, and otherwise unwilling to accommodate an amicable divorce. We are not afraid of a fight and have been providing the best results for our clients for over two decades. We have an expert team of divorce lawyers in San Tan Valley Arizona. We also have a great team of female divorce attorneys in AZ.

There are three major issues that need to be resolved in a typical Arizona divorce matter;

  1. The dissolution of the marriage.
  2. Child custody/child support issues.
  3. Division of the community property and debt.

Divorce Attorney Near San Tan Valley, AZ

Perhaps the easiest of these issues to resolve is the dissolution of the marriage itself.  Unlike many states, Arizona does not require a specific reason for divorce.  Arizona judges do not need to make a finding as to why one or both parties want to be divorced.  It’s enough for one party to indicate their desire to be divorced and that the marriage is irretrievably broken.  Under Arizona law, the reason for divorce is irrelevant.

Even though a specific reason for divorce is not mandatory, there are some specific requirements that must be met before a judge can grant a divorce.  See A.R.S 25-312.

These requirements include the following:

  • At least one of the parties must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days prior to the date the divorce action is commenced.  Military personnel who are stationed in Arizona can commence a dissolution matter after they have been stationed in the state for at least 90 days.
  • The parties must be made aware of Conciliation Services; a free service offered through the courts to try to help parties reconcile their marriage.  The court must further find that the parties do not believe such services would help save the marriage.
  • That the marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • The court must consider any custody, child support, and spousal maintenance issues that may be present in the case.

If the court does not find that each of these requirements has been met, the court cannot take jurisdiction over the matter and the divorce cannot be granted.

San Tan Valley AZ Divorce proceedings are understandably emotional and painful for both parties and their children.  If you find yourself facing a divorce, it’s important that you understand your legal rights and the divorce process.  As divorce attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ, we have more than a decade of experience handling divorce matters in Arizona.  We will protect your rights and give you the peace of mind you need.  Call us today and schedule your Divorce consultation.

San Tan Valley Divorce Lawyers

What is a No-Fault Divorce in San Tan Valley AZ?

Arizona is a “no-fault” divorce state so all divorces that proceed from San Tan Valley are considered no-fault.   This simply means that the person initiating the divorce does not have to give a reason or prove the other party is at fault.  However, don’t assume that no-fault divorce is a simple divorce. There will still be assets and debts to divide, and if you have children you will need to negotiate child custody and child support.  One way to simplify the process is to hire a divorce lawyer who works with a mediator. They can help negotiate a settlement that will save you both time, stress, and money.

Divorce Attorney in San Tan Valley AZ

The shortest amount of time a divorce in Arizona can take is 60 days, but some divorces can take years to settle.  There are different factors that can affect how long your divorce will take.  If you and your spouse have children together, own substantial assets together, or have a contested divorce, the process can take longer.  Working with an experienced divorce attorney in San Tan Valley Arizona will ensure the divorce process is as quick and efficient as possible.

In San Tan Valley Arizona, every divorce begins with one spouse filing a petition for the dissolution of marriage in the family court. The petition must then be served on the opposing party, along with a summons and other accompanying documents. The petition may be served to the opposing party in one of the following ways:

  • By personal delivery.
  • By alternative service.
  • By mail and signed acknowledgment.

The opposing party then has 20 days to file a response, if they reside in the State of Arizona.  If they reside outside of Arizona, they have 30 days to respond.

divorce lawyer San Tan Valley Arizona

What are Temporary Orders?

Once the petition for dissolution of marriage has been filed and the other party has responded, either party has the option of requesting a temporary order hearing.  In this hearing, the court will issue temporary orders regarding child support, custody of minor children, spousal support, a division of debts, who will reside in the primary residence, etc.  These orders are called temporary orders because they will only be in place until the divorce and permanent orders are finalized.

What is a Contested Divorce in San Tan Valley AZ?

When a divorcing couple is unable or unwilling to agree on important decisions such as child custody, child support, or spousal support, this is considered a contested divorce. Contested divorces are those that most individuals wish to avoid. Why?  Contested divorces tend to cause more conflict between the divorcing spouses, take more time to resolve, and are therefore more expensive.

Choosing the right divorce lawyer in Arizona, or if you feel more comfortable with a female divorce attorney in San Tan Valley AZ, will make a significant impact on the results of your case. No matter what stage of the divorce process you are in, we can assist you in navigating your divorce and protecting your rights. We have experience and skills that can be used on your behalf to protect you. Contact your divorce attorney today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.

contested uncontested divorce lawyer San Tan Valley Arizona

What is an Uncontested Divorce in San Tan Valley AZ?

Not all divorces end in long court battles.  In fact, most divorces in San Tan Valley Arizona are uncontested. An uncontested divorce is one that is resolved outside of the courtroom, such as through mediation or another out-of-court agreement. The result is no less binding than a contested divorce in court, but the process is more constructive overall. Your approach with your divorce lawyer in San Tan Valley will have a big impact on this.

In an uncontested divorce, the spouses have a greater opportunity to negotiate decisions together, rather than abiding by a court-ordered judgment that may not be the most advantageous for everyone involved.

Discussing your case with an experienced divorce attorney in San Tan Valley Arizona is one of the most important decisions you can make when considering divorce. Even if you and your spouse agree on all or almost all of the terms of your divorce, it will be helpful to have the insight of a legal professional to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Divorce Female Attorney in San Tan Valley AZ

Over the past several decades as we have been helped thousands of clients successfully achieve great divorce outcomes. However, we have heard a lot and more so in recent years that many clients would prefer to have a female divorce attorney in San Tan Valley AZ. To that end, we have hired both women family lawyers and female divorce attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ. When the unfortunate prospect of divorce arises, it is important to know your rights and understand the law and the marriage dissolution process in San Tan Valley Arizona. As experienced Jensen Family Law divorce lawyers in Arizona, we help make this process as quick and painless as possible.

 

The Best Child Support Lawyers in San Tan Valley AZ

As Child Support Attorneys in San Tan Valley Arizona, we know that one of the most important issues facing divorcing spouses is the issue of child support.  Most people think of child support as the amount of money one parent pays to the other parent to help financially support the children, but this is only part of the equation.  Parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children and an obligation to provide for their children’s emotional, physical and psychological needs.

Child support in San Tan Valley AZ is determined using Arizona’s Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines provide a framework for determining a monthly monetary obligation that one parent pays to the other to ease the financial burden associated with caring for the children. There are several factors that are considered in determining who pays child support and how much. However, the two factors that most heavily influence the amount of child support that is to be paid are the income of the parties and the amount of parenting time each parent has.

Why You Need A Child Support Attorney in San Tan Valley AZ

When we meet with our clients as their child support attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ, the first step in calculating child support is to determine each parent’s income. This is typically determined by both parties filling out an Affidavit of Financial Information (AFI). The AFI requires each parent to provide full disclosure of his or her income, expenses, and other financial obligations. Each parent is required to provide current pay stubs, W-2s, and tax information, where applicable. The AFI becomes the basis for determining each parent’s income for purposes of calculating child support.  You and your spouse should include income from the following sources:

  • Income from salaries
  • Wages
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Dividends
  • Severance pay
  • Workers’ compensation benefits
  • Annuities
  • Capital gains
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Unemployment insurance benefits

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, so consult your family law attorney to learn what income sources will need to be included.

Before the amount of the child support obligation can be determined, it is also necessary to determine how much parenting time each parent will have with the children. This can be decided by the parents through an agreement or by the court if the matter proceeds to trial. If one parent exercises more parenting time than the other, the more the other parent will typically have to pay in child support. Other factors, such as costs of insurance and daycare also influence the amount of child support under the San Tan Valley Arizona guidelines.

Once the amount of the obligation is determined the child support order is entered by the judge obligating one parent to pay the other monthly support. The parent obligated to pay child support has the responsibility to make sure he or she is making the payment each and every month. The court order will require that all child support payments be made through the Support Clearinghouse through Automatic Wage Assignment, meaning that the paying parent’s wages will be garnished by the Clearinghouse to make sure the support is paid. The parent receiving child support will receive his or her support payments directly from the Support Clearinghouse. This assures that the obligation is getting paid regularly each month and that the parent receiving child support is getting paid as required by the court order. Any payment not made through the Clearinghouse can be considered a gift and the paying parent may not get credit for that payment. Failure to make regular and consistent child support payments will result in a child support arrearage that will accrue interest.

At Jensen Family Law in San Tan Valley AZ, we understand how important and stressful the issue of child support can be. We are committed to pursuing practical and effective solutions for our clients facing child support issues. We ensure our clients understand the child support process in San Tan Valley Arizona and we passionately assist them in protecting what is most important to them.

Uncovered Medical Expenses

As child support attorneys in San Tan Valley Arizona, we tell parents to have a legal obligation for the payment of uncovered medical expenses for their children.  This includes co-pays, prescriptions, and any other medical, dental, and/or vision costs as a result of medically necessary treatment or procedure.  These expenses are not included in the child support calculation but are left to the parents to negotiate, or if they are unable or unwilling to agree, the court will decide for them.  The Arizona Guidelines do not indicate that uncovered medical expenses must be divided according to parents’ incomes but instead are divided by the court in the best interest of the children.

Child Care in San Tan Valley AZ

Parents also share an obligation for childcare for their children.  The court will consider the federal child care tax for which the custodial parent is eligible when determining the obligation of each parent paying for childcare expenses.  Childcare expenses must be reasonable considering the parents’ financial situations.

Extraordinary Child

The guidelines for child support in Arizona reflect the needs of most children.  However, couples with handicapped or gifted children may petition the court to increase the basic support obligation based on the needs of their exceptional children.

The legal team at Jensen Family Law understands how important and stressful the issue of child support can be. We are committed to pursuing practical and effective solutions for our clients facing child support issues. Our legal team will make sure you understand the child support process in Arizona and will passionately and compassionately make sure your most important asset, your children, are being protected. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our Jensen Family Law in San Tan Valley AZ Arizona Child Support attorneys. With offices in MesaChandler, and Gilbert we are ready to help.

The Best Child Custody Lawyers in San Tan Valley AZ

As child custody lawyers in San Tan ValleyAZ, we know that custody of your kids is one of the most important points of any divorce or legal separation agreement. Ideally, parents prioritize their children’s needs and cooperate in creating a custody plan that is in their best interest.  Unfortunately, oftentimes the reality is that your spouse is unwilling to cooperate, maybe unfit to be involved in raising your children, or may have different views on how to resolve custody disputes. Arizona child custody laws can be highly complex and confusing. An attorney can play an important role in helping a parent understand his or her custody rights in regards to a divorce or legal separation. It is important that you have an attorney to guide you through the process. Jensen Family Law is an Arizona family law attorney on your side to protect your rights and represent your interests.

 

Types of Child Custody in San Tan Valley AZ

In San Tan Valley Arizona’s family court, parents who are going through a divorce or legal separation must decide on child custody. Child custody refers to the rights and responsibilities of a child’s parents and who will care for the child. There are two types of child custody: legal and physical custody.  Legal custody of a child means that a parent can make important decisions on that child’s behalf such as medical or schooling decisions.  Physical custody determines who the child will live with.

Custody may be awarded to both parents jointly, or if one parent is deemed unfit in some way only one parent will be awarded custody. Ultimately, a judge decides the specifics of custody and visitation rights according to the best interests of the children. In making decisions about child custody, the court will look to do what is in the best interests of the child. As such, the court may look to such factors as the parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs and provide a safe environment, the physical and mental health of the parents, the income of each parent, and, in some cases, the child’s preference

The Preliminary Injunction

When a new Arizona divorce case is filed, the Clerk of the Court issues a preliminary injunction that prohibits both parties from taking certain actions while the divorce is still pending. An injunction is a court order. This means that if either party does anything forbidden by the Preliminary Injunction, he or she is violating a court order. As it pertains to child custody, the preliminary injunction includes specific orders applicable to both parties and includes the following:

  1. You may not harass or bother your spouse or children.
  2. You may not physically abuse or threaten your spouse or the children.
  3. You may not take the minor children, common to your marriage, out of the State of Arizona for many reasons without a written agreement between you and your spouse or a Court Order.
  4. You may not remove, or cause to be removed, the other party or the minor children of the parties from any existing insurance coverage including medical, hospital, dental, automobile, and disability insurance. Both parties shall maintain all insurance coverage in full force and effect.

Arizona family law court judges take the preliminary injunction very seriously and parents are strongly cautioned to do the same. A violation of any of the restrictions itemized in the Preliminary Injunction can be expensive and can result in significant sanctions from the family law judge. If either spouse violates the Preliminary Injunction, he or she may be found in contempt of a court order.

If you find yourself involved in an Arizona divorce, seek the help of an experienced Arizona family law attorney before making decisions regarding community assets or taking actions involving minor children.

Interstate Jurisdiction

A challenge some parents face is when one parent wants to relocate far from the other parent or even out of Arizona altogether.  Even when there are very good reasons for the proposed move, problems can arise when one parent wants to move far from the other parent. The non-moving parent is likely to have his or her parenting time with the children reduced or significantly limited.  A drastic reduction in parenting time can be difficult and traumatic for both the non-moving parent and the children.

A parent who wishes to relocate his or her children more than 100 miles from the other parent must follow the procedure found in A.R.S. §25-408, Arizona’s relocation statute.  Under this relocation statute, if both parents are entitled to joint legal decision making or unsupervised parenting time and both parents reside in the State of Arizona, then the parent who wishes to relocate must provide the non-moving parent forty-five (45) days written notice before that parent will be allowed to: 1) relocate the child outside of the state or 2) relocate the child more than 100 miles within the state. Then the non-moving parent will have an opportunity to petition the court to prevent the relocation.

If the non-moving parent does file a petition to prevent the relocation within the time allowed under the statute, the Arizona family law judge will set an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the relocation will be in the children’s best interest.  The parent who is seeking to move has the responsibility to provide evidence to the family court judge that the relocation is in the child’s best interest.  This evidence may include such factors as the age of the child, which parent the child/children have primarily lived with, where the children will be most comfortable living, and even the child’s desires.

A decision to move out of Arizona or more than 100 miles from another parent should not be taken lightly.  Because of the complicated issues involving relocation, consulting with an experienced San Tan Valley Child Custody Attorney is very important.

Child Custody Mediation in San Tan Valley AZ

Divorce and parenting do not come with a set of instructions. Seeking help from a professional custody mediator can help you deal with the unexpected issues that arise from a divorce, ease the emotional heaviness you may be experiencing, and give compassionate advice to help you work towards more peaceful solutions.  Child custody mediation provides parents an opportunity to resolve disagreements, decide on a parenting plan that prioritizes their children, negotiate child support and specify visitation rights.

Child custody mediation is always a great option for parents or divorcing couples to have because a third-party professional can give advice and guidance as to what decisions are typically best for the children. Additionally, using the services of a professional mediator to resolve disputes will almost always be less costly than litigating those same issues in court.  Non-partial mediators can offer their assistance to seek the best possible outcomes based on the needs and rights of everyone involved, instead of leaving those decisions up to a judge. Judges typically have very little empathy. Instead, parents work with professional custody mediators who help parents establish a healthy dialogue between one another to agree upon what best serves the interests of their children.

You may feel that inviting someone else into your family issues could seem invasive and uncomfortable. However, Jensen Family Law in San Tan Valley AZ can help. Our legal team is highly experienced and confidential, and we stand by your side during your Arizona custody mediation. We can offer neutral, practical, and beneficial legal guidance that is specific to your custody situation.  Contact us for a consultation today with a divorce attorney.

Call us today and schedule your child custody consultation with the Best Child Custody Attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ.

Prenuptial Agreements Lawyers in San Tan Valley AZ

 

Tying the knot, jumping the broom, getting hitched; whatever you want to call it, getting married is a huge milestone in most people’s lives. Marriage can be a great journey to embark on and most couples look forward to wedding planning and a long life together. One thing to consider before making your way to the altar, however, is having you and your fiancé draft a prenuptial agreement. As Prenuptial agreement lawyers in San Tan Valley AZ, we can’t recommend strongly enough that you consider this. Prenuptial agreements, or pre-marital agreements, are not a draft for destruction, but rather a preventative measure that can help you protect your assets that came into the marriage in the event that something goes sour.

Prenuptial agreements in Arizona are governed by the Arizona Family Code and are seen as a legally binding contract between two people entering into the throes of holy matrimony. These agreements will cover everything from financial issues to property division. These agreements are drafted prior to marriage with the assistance of a dedicated attorney and come into full effect after the marriage takes place. In the event that a pre-nuptial agreement is actually enforced, there are regulations and laws pertaining to the enforcement and legality of the contract itself. If you are considering obtaining a prenuptial agreement, it is recommended that you work with an attorney from Jensen Family Law right away.

Why Get a Prenuptial Agreement and Hire a Lawyer?

Some individuals will choose to obtain a pre-nuptial agreement simply because they are looking out for the best interests of themselves and their partner, however, there are some cases that you should consider obtaining a prenuptial agreement. If, for example, you are much wealthier than your fiancé, or your fiancé has a large amount of debt. In these cases, you definitely need a lawyer for the drafting of your prenuptial agreement in Arizona. Another circumstance to reconsider would be if you were remarrying or leaving your career to be a stay-at-home parent and solely raise children. If you own a portion of a business or you earn much more than your fiancé, these agreements can help protect you and what is rightfully yours in the event of a divorce.

Assistance with Prenuptial Agreements

At Jensen Family Law in San Tan Valley AZ, we understand that you are preoccupied with other pre-marital decisions, which is why we are happy to assist you in obtaining your pre-marital agreements in a quick and efficient manner. When you meet with our attorneys, we will discuss every aspect of the agreement and guide you throughout the legal process of drafting and signing the pre-nuptial. This process does not need to be drawn out and complicated and our firm can assure that. If you are already married and are looking to enforce your pre-nuptial agreements or make revisions to your existing agreement, you need to contact our firm as well.

Contact the Best Prenuptial Attorney in San Tan Valley AZ

Our team of prenuptial agreement attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ will work with you to create a unique prenuptial agreement that will last the test of time… You know… Just in case.

Grandparents Rights Attorney in San Tan Valley AZ

 

As the best child custody lawyers in San Tan Valley AZ, we often get asked, “what are grandparents’ rights in Arizona?” This is an issue that a lot of people come to me and ask about and it’s a little unsure on where Arizona statutes are as far as grandparent rights. Well, let me tell you a story. A young grandma and grandpa came into my office, they were probably late forties, early fifties and they had some concerns about their grandchild. This child had been living with them throughout the child’s life, about seven years, and the child’s parents had gotten a divorce a few years before. The reason for their divorce was the mother had been involved in some criminal activities and had been arrested and was no longer able to be around the minor child and the father had continued to live with grandma and grandpa and had taken care of this child but really had left the parenting responsibilities up to grandma and grandpa, and the child had been essentially raised by his grandparents, These grandparents wanted visitation rights in Arizona and hired us to be their Grandparents rights attorney in San Tan Valley Arizona.

Well, the father decided that he wanted to move out of the state and kind of had a falling out with his parents, and so father took the child and moved out of state, and my clients, those with grandparents rights, had talked to a different attorney in San Tan Valley AZ who had told them there was nothing they could do. They’d found out that the mother had filed something taking them back to court and they had just had a hearing the week before, and they came to me and said: “Hey, what’s going on here? You know- we’ve been involved in the child’s life, he’s been gone for about four months, we don’t know where they’re at, they’re out of state. We don’t know. Now we find out the mother who’s a criminal, who has got some criminal history, is now seeking rights and we want to protect this child.” So they came to me and they asked me: “What can we do?” and I said, “Well, the advice you got was bad. I wouldn’t have done it that way. I would have done it a little differently, but let’s get in there right now and file something.” So we filed to intervene as grandparents, and since they had already had the hearing, we had asked for a new hearing.

grandparents rights lawyer San Tan Valley Arizona

We asked for a “temporary orders” hearing. And we had to wait a couple of months until we had a temporary orders hearing. In the meantime, we found out that the judge had ordered the father to bring the children back to Arizona and to allow the parenting time to continue. Now, remember, mother was a criminal so her parenting time was supervised. And the child didn’t really have a great relationship with the father, so the judge was left with this impossible task of figuring out: “Who should I put this child with?” And interestingly enough, both mother and father didn’t mention that grandparents were so involved. So when I came into the case- the judge had placed the child with an aunt and uncle who lived in a different city, so we asked the judge to take the child away from where he was living now and going to school now, and put him back with grandma and grandpa. Well, the judge was reluctant to do that, because the child was already back in school and was making some progress. And so on temporary orders, the judge said no, but the judge did do the smart thing and said: “Okay, we’re gonna have some parenting time for grandparents.” Then we had a trial set up a little bit later.

We came back to the trial and we had all of our evidence at that point. Because of the temporary orders hearing, you typically don’t have as much time to put on all of the evidence. We brought on all the evidence and we were able to successfully convince the court that this is what needs to happen. The grandparents had essentially raised this child from his birth and had been so important and integral to this child’s life, that the child should be returned with grandma and grandpa. We were able to win that case and the judge smartly found that the aunt and uncle who had been spending time with the child shouldn’t be cut out of the child’s life completely and that the father who was living out of state shouldn’t be cut out completely and the mother shouldn’t be cut completely. But really this case was about where the child should primarily reside and who should make the decisions for this child.

Well, because my clients came to me and were able to talk about it and understand how third-party grandparent rights work in Arizona, we were able to convince a judge to put things back to where they should be, also ensuring that the child had a relationship with his father, had a relationship with his mother and had a relationship with the other people who are important in his life, but that he primarily resided with his grandma and grandpa and they were able to make the decisions. There are a lot of complicated issues in this kind of case where you’re dealing with third-party rights or grandparent rights, and it’s important to talk to a lawyer who understands how the law works and who will give you your options so that you and your lawyer together, can make the decisions. Come and see me, we’re here at Jensen Family Law in San Tan Valley AZ and we’ll sit down with you, we’ll take time to understand your situation and to explain the laws that would apply to you.

Best Paternity Lawyers in San Tan Valley AZ

 

The establishment or disestablishment of paternity in San Tan Valley AZ will greatly impact any family law matter. If you are a father seeking custody of your child or a mother attempting to prove that the person seeking custody is or is not your child’s legal father, contacting an Arizona family attorney at Jensen Family Law in San Tan Valley AZ can help you address this situation. It is our goal to help you obtain a definitive answer regarding your paternity case. An objective and rational standpoint allows us to approach your case with the right attitude and therefore have a better chance at a swifter, more successful outcome. Court procedures in establishing or disestablishing paternity can be highly complex and the right attorney can assist in navigating through this difficult situation.

Best Family Law Attorneys in San Tan Valley AZ

Information Regarding Paternity Testing in San Tan Valley Arizona

According to The Judicial Branch of Arizona, any case where the court is making legal orders about the identity of a child’s parents is referred to as a parentage or paternity test. If parents are married when a child is born, parentage is normally not even a question; however, things are not always that simple. When a child is born with unmarried parents or if there is a question of fidelity, many questions may arise. Establishing parentage means more than just bringing peace of mind; it means help for determining important legal issues such as custody, visitation rights, and even child support. It also means that the child will have access to his or her family’s medical records and history, access to health and life insurance coverage, and more.

There are three ways that you can establish the parentage of a child:

  • Voluntary Declaration of Paternity: In these cases, unmarried couples would sign a Declaration of Paternity, which would make them the legal parents of the child. In most cases, this is signed at the hospital at the time of the parent’s birth, but not always—in some cases, it can be signed later. The form can be received at the local child support agency, registrar of births, family law facilitator, or the welfare offices. It must be signed at one of these public agencies and witnessed by a notary public. After it has been signed, it is sent to the Arizona Department of Child Services (DCS) with the Paternity Opportunity Program (POP), and has the same effect as a legal court order.
  • Local Child Support Agency (LCSA): In some cases, you can go to a local child support agency and ask for their assistance in establishing parentage. These are part of the DCS, with one located in every county. The process begins simply; you call your county’s LCSA to schedule an appointment about parentage and support. This can be done even if the mother is still pregnant. Next, a genetic test will be ordered (only after the child is born). The services of LCSA can be requested by either parent; however, the LCSA is not a lawyer and does not represent the parents or children.
  • Go to Court: If necessary, you may need to take your paternity case to court to establish parentage. These are complex and it is usually best advised to handle these with the help of an experienced family law attorney. To start, you would need to file your parentage case in the county where either your child permanently lives or can be found. In some cases, that may be in the court you live.

If you are looking to establish parentage, and you believe that filing a case with the court is your best option, we encourage you to contact an attorney from our firm. With more than 20 years of experience, we have handled these cases before and we know the steps to take. Call us today if you have any more questions.

Searching for the Best Paternity Lawyer in San Tan Valley AZ?

Paternity is a term used to define the state or condition of being a father. Paternity more frequently comes into question with unmarried couples who have a child together, but these matters may also arise in married couples in the event of a divorce or legal separation. In any event, by filing a Petition to Establish Paternity, either a mother or father can begin the legal action of establishing legal paternity for their child. Issues involving paternity may be resolved in or out of the courtroom. Either way, having a competent family lawyer at your side can go a long way in ensuring that your rights and interests are protected in these legal actions. If you want to schedule a consultation with one of the best paternity lawyers in San Tan Valley, give us a call today.

Need a Divorce or Family Law Attorney Near San Tan Valley AZ?

We’re open: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

For additional questions, you can call us at; (480) 900-2302 or you can find us on Yelp.

Located in South East Gilbert, Near Higley High School on Pecos Road, West of Power Road in the Power Ranch Neighborhood. Our Gilbert Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Gilbert AZ
4365 E. Pecos Rd Suite 138
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 900-2302
https://familylawattorneymesaaz.net/gilbert




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Jensen Family Law in Mesa is located on 3740 E Southern Ave Suite 210, 85206 Mesa, Arizona. From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Take S 41st St to E Sky Harbor Blvd, then head west on E Sky Harbor Blvd and Use the left lane to take the exit toward S 41st St. Then Turn right onto S 41st St. After that, Continue straight to stay on S 41st St, then Take AZ-202 Loop E, AZ-101 Loop S and US-60 E to S Val Vista Dr in Mesa. Take exit 184 from US-60 E after that Merge onto E Sky Harbor Blvd, then Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto AZ-202 Loop E toward Tempe/Mesa and Use the right 3 lanes to take exit 9 to merge onto AZ-101 Loop S. After that, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 55A-B to merge onto US-60 E toward Globe, then Take exit 184 for Val Vista Dr. Then Continue on S Val Vista Dr to your destination and Turn left onto S Val Vista Dr. Turn right onto E Southern Ave, then turn left and Destination will be on the right.

We’re open 9 AM – 5 PM Monday – Friday and we are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

For additional questions you can call us at (480) 999-2321 or you can find us on Yelp.