Almost Half the Children Born in Maricopa County are to Unmarried Parents

Cindy Best

That seems like an amazing statistic to me for 2013; about 45,000 babies born in Maricopa County had unmarried parents. What does that mean for all these kids? Legally, it means that they have fathers with no legal rights to their children at birth. There is no common law marriage, by the way, in Arizona. The parents are not married, if they are not married. There is no way around that. So, if you are the father, you have to go to court to get parenting time and parenting decision making. It gets quite complicated so it is important to know your rights. The mother needs to know and understand as well. Even though she holds all the custody cards, so to speak…she should consider what is best for the baby. It would really be nice, in a perfect world, for the parents to come to written agreements when the baby is first born so they can stay out of court later. Especially while emotions are happy and joyful. And fathers, you owe child support even if there is no child support order. I told you it could be complicated. It might be a good idea to consider consulting with an attorney at this stage to give you peace of mind and some ideas to keep life calm.

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