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Fathers’ Rights FAQ

What are fathers’ rights?

“Fathers’ rights” refer to the specific legal rights that fathers have in regards to their children. Issues concerning fathers’ rights most often arise in the event of a divorce, legal separation or other family law matter. They are most often called into question in issues involving child custody and visitation rights. Although fathers’ rights were widely unrecognized in the past, they are beginning to gain more recognition and importance in current family law proceedings throughout the U.S.

How does paternity relate to fathers’ rights?

At times a mother may attempt to bring paternity into question. You may be seeking custody of your child or may want to establish visitation rights, and the mother may claim that you are not the legal father. Establishing or disestablishing paternity is important in these cases as it will determine whether a father may have the right to custody or the obligation to pay child support. Paternity may be established through a DNA test or in some cases may be dealt with without the necessity of such a test.

Can a husband receive spousal support / alimony?

Yes. Either a husband or a wife may be entitled to spousal support in the event of a divorce or legal separation. This may be worked out in an out of court agreement or a judge may make a ruling determining spousal support or alimony, including the amount to be paid and the length of time it will be in effect.

Can a father receive child support?

Yes, generally speaking the custodial parent (mother or father) may receive child support from the non-custodial parent for the costs associated with raising the child. This may include the child’s food, housing, clothing, medical care, daycare costs and education. Most often child support is required until the child turns 18.