Arizona State Laws: Title 13 Custody for Unwed Mothers

By Jennifer F. Bender

Arizona state law clearly outlines the requirements for parental custody. The legislature grants unwed mothers custody of a child without any legal action. These rights allow the unwed mother to make decisions regarding the child's living arrangements and welfare without consulting the child's biological father. This custody arrangement can later be challenged by a paternity action or court action for custody.

Presumed Custody

Arizona state law, Title 13 Section 1302 (B), states, "If a child is born out of wedlock, the mother is the legal custodian of the child for the purposes of this section until paternity is established and custody or access is determined by a court." This legislation gives the unwed mother sole custody of her child without pursuing any legal action. This gives her the ability to make all decisions regarding the child's well being. An unwed mother can also seek child support from the child's biological father without obtaining a custody order for the child.

Custody Orders

Custody orders give a parent the right to make decisions concerning a child and ensure the child can legally live with him. In Arizona, custody orders are not required. The legal parents can raise a child without them. If no custody orders exist, the courts presume the legal parents share equally in both making decisions for their child and the child's living arrangements. An unwed mother may pursue formal custody orders if the biological father is pursuing custody rights of the child. This will further ensure the unwed mother's formal rights.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Presumed Paternity

An unwed mother's custody of her child may be challenged if a father's paternity is presumed in a case. Arizona law presumes paternity when a DNA test states there is at least a 95-percent likelihood he is the father. It also occurs when both parents sign the birth certificate of a child born to an unmarried woman. The final presumption occurs when the parents voluntarily acknowledge paternity in a signed statement that is notarized or witnessed. Even with the presumption, a judge can rule against paternity if he finds clear and convincing evidence the man is not the father.

Court Ordered Paternity

Custody for unwed mothers can also be challenged if the court orders paternity. Arizona law orders paternity if the father files a response admitting paternity. Court-ordered paternity also occurs when the court orders DNA tests and the tests show either a 95-percent or more likelihood of paternity or the father fails to take the DNA test. Finally, the court can order paternity if the father fails to respond to court papers or appear in court.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Tennessee Law for Granting Custody to People Who Are Not Married
 

References

Resources

Related articles

Dad's Rights to Sole Custody

Fathers had few rights in custody battles in the 20th century. That changed somewhat in the millennium. However, the change takes the form of courts being willing to at least consider giving a father sole physical custody, with his children living with him and having minimal contact or visitation with their mother. Fathers still face an uphill battle in actually achieving sole custody of their children.

Custody Rights of Grandparents

It’s not all that unusual for grandparents to raise their grandchildren instead of the children's parents. However, the rights that grandparents have when it comes to custody of their grandchildren can vary depending on the state where they live and the family circumstances that cause them to seek custody.

Tennessee Law on Reversal of Legal Guardianship

According to Tennessee state law, a parent's right to privacy, which is protected by the state and federal constitutions, includes a parent's right to care for his children. However, various scenarios can prompt an order of guardianship by the court or short-term placement by the natural parent. Based on state statute, each county in Tennessee has developed its own procedure to petition for reversal of legal guardianship. Once the appropriate paperwork is turned in, a court date will be set at which time a judge will consider each party’s argument. The current custody agreement remains in effect until the court makes its ruling. Although procedural rules differ across the state, the application of case law by the courts remains consistent.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help. Wills & Trusts

Related articles

The Custody of Kids When Not Married in Mississippi

In most states, when an unmarried woman gives birth, she automatically and legally has sole custody of her child. ...

Custody Laws for Underage Parents in Pennsylvania

In an effort to provide family court judges with clearer guidelines when making custody decisions, Pennsylvania made a ...

What Are a Father's Custodial Rights Before Custody Hearings?

When a father is married to his child's biological mother, the court presumes he is the child's biological father. ...

How Does a Father Get Custody When the Mother Denies Paternity?

Disputes over custody can hit a snag when a child's mother denies that an estranged or ex-husband or lover is the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED