Phoenix, AZ asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona

Q: Me ex girlfriend had a child and claims it's mine. Who has the take the child?

Can I take the child legally

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: She can. You can't.

Based on what you wrote, it doesn't sound like you are even a legal parent yet. A biological connection to the child, by itself, does not establish you as the child's legal parent in the eyes of the law. You have to either (1) sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity (she needs to sign it also) and file it with the state, or (2) go to Court and have a judge determine paternity. As part of that process, you can ask the judge to order DNA testing.

But even paternity has been established, the mother has custody of the child until a Court orders a parenting plan. Therefore, under the criminal statute for custodial interference, if a father takes the child without the mother's permission prior to a court order being in place, the father can be charged with custodial interference.

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