Mesa Fathers’ Rights Lawyers

Representing Fathers throughout East Valley

Father with custody of childWhen legal custody is decided during a divorce, the court recognizes each parent equally, meaning neither parent receives preferential treatment based on gender. However, if the parents were never married, the biological father has no legal right to either custody or parenting time without both an order entered to establish parental rights and legally established paternity.

If you are involved in a paternity dispute or feel that your rights as a father have been violated, Edwards & Petersen | PLC is here to help. Our fathers’ rights attorneys in Mesa offer client-focused and results-driven representation, always striving to help our clients achieve their goals in the most efficient and amicable fashion possible.

Contact us online or call us at (480) 418-5656 to get started on your case with a free consultation.

Seeking Custody as a Father

Once paternity is established, one parent must file a request to have the court decide legal decision-making and parenting time. At that point, the court’s decision is based on what is deemed best for the child, just as it is when the parents have been legally married. You can petition the court for both paternity and custody at the same time.

When Is Paternity Assumed?

A child’s biological father may voluntarily acknowledge paternity or have it legally established. However, Arizona Revised Statute delineates a number of conditions in which paternity is assumed.

This means that, unless it receives evidence to the contrary, the court automatically recognizes paternity under the following circumstances:

  • He and the mother were married at any point during the 10 months preceding the child’s birth
  • The child’s birth took place within 10 months of the marriage ending
  • A DNA test revealed 95% probability of paternity
  • The mother and father both signed the birth certificate, even if unmarried
  • Both parents, either together or separately, signed a notarized or witnessed statement that acknowledges paternity

This is a complex area of law. It is in your best interest to retain an experienced family law attorney. The Mesa fathers’ rights lawyers at Edwards & Petersen | PLC are here to help you navigate the process and protect your rights.

Contact our Mesa fathers' rights attorneys today!


I couldn't have made it through the most difficult time in my families' lives if it weren't for the support I received from Brian Petersen and Josh Edwards.

-Michelle (Former Client)

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