Legal Question in Family Law in Arizona

child custody with no marriage

Who has custody of a child - no marriage - both names are on the birth certificate - no court hearings to determine custody - mother has had physical custody entire life (13 years)?

Asked on 6/09/03, 4:14 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Rich Peters R. J. Peters & Assoc., P.C.

Re: child custody with no marriage

Unless Dad has sought and received an "Order of Patenrity", he literaly has no legal rights. However, this does not necessarily mean you should restrict access, which can have its own consequences.

I can explain the issues and necessary procedures better by phone or in person. There is too much to cover via e'mail (and I am not the greatest typist). We offer free 1/2 hour consultations, in which we can discuss the matter in more detail.

Please call me directly to discuss the specifics of your case, or contact my assistant Cathy to schedule a free 1/2 hour consultation. I look forward to talking with you.

/s/ Rich J. Peters, Attorney


1422 N. 2nd Street, Suite 100

Phoenix, Arizona 85004


602.254-1229 (facsimile)

see our web page at

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Answered on 6/10/03, 11:20 am

Monica Donaldson Stewart Donaldson Stewart, P.C.

Re: child custody with no marriage

Thank you for your inquiry.

Pursuant to ARS 25-804(D): "In any case in which paternity is established the parent with whomthe child has resided for the greater part of the last six months shall have legal custody unless otherwise ordered by the court."

Another thing to keep in mind, though, is that if either party later asks the court to make decisions regarding custody and visitation, the court will make the decisions according to the "best interests of the child," which might not necessarily be the same thing as the status quo.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact my office to schedule an initial consultation.

Monica Donaldson

(480) 792-9770

[email protected]

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Answered on 6/09/03, 4:17 pm

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