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Statutory Marital Paternity Presumption for Same-Sex Couples in Arizona
Posted on : October 16, 2017, By: Christopher Hildebrand
Statutory Marital Paternity Presumption for Same-Sex Couples in Arizona
With the recognition of the validity of same-sex marriages in Arizona, a question arises as to whether a child born during a same-sex marriage results in the non-childbearing spouse being entitled to the statutory presumption of paternity in Arizona. Arizona revised statute section 25-814 provides that a “man” is presumed to be the father of a child who was born during the marriage between the man and the child’s mother. How does that apply to a same-sex marriage?
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After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
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I cannot express enough how thankful I am that I found Hildrebrand Law. Chris Hildebrand is an excellent attorney who has my best interests in mind and always encourages me to do the right thing regardless of what the opposing party is doing. Chris knows family law very well and relies on that knowledge to format options and solutions for each situation that may arise. He knows what the Court expects and what will and will not be tolerated. He has attempted to settle this case quickly and as inexpensively as possible from the start. His paralegal, Laura, is remarkable. She is organized, quick to respond, and compassionate. Chris is well prepared with a binder full of detailed and organized information and that is likely due to her thorough skills and expertise. While getting a divorce that was unexpected is a painful and difficult process, Chris and Laura treat my family and I like friends rather than another just "client." I am hopeful that I do not need to recommend divorce lawyers to anyone in the future but if I do, Hildebrand Law will be a recommendation I would give hands down.
The presumption would no use to a same-sex marriage between two men since neither of them would be able to give birth to a child. The presumption may or may not apply to a same-sex marriage between two women because one of the women may give birth to a child while the other female in the marriage is not defined, as it is in the statute, as a “man” whose wife gives birth during a same-sex marriage between two women.
Well, the Arizona Supreme Court recently answered that question in the case of McLaughlin v. Jones. The American Bar Association had the following to say about the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in that case as follows:
Statutory Marital Paternity Presumption.
Statutory marital paternity presumption cannot, consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses, be restricted to only opposite-sex couples; the marital paternity presumption is a benefit of marriage, and the state cannot deny same-sex spouses the same benefits afforded opposite-sex spouses. Mother was equitably estopped from rebutting her same-sex spouse’s presumptive parentage of child in dissolution proceedings; mother and spouse agreed that they intended for mother to be artificially inseminated with an anonymous sperm donor and that mother gave birth to the child during the marriage, they signed a joint parenting agreement during the pregnancy declaring spouse a “co-parent” of the child and their intent that the parenting relationship between spouse and child would continue if mother and spouse’s relationship ended, and, after the birth, spouse stayed home to care for child during first two years of his life.
If you are a same-sex couple and have a question about establishing paternity of your child or need help with adoption of a child, call the experienced family law attorneys at (480)947-4339 at Hildebrand Law, PC.