Father’s Rights

In Arizona, a father who is not married has no legal rights to their child until paternity has been established. Once established, fathers have just as many rights as the child’s mother including the ability to make decisions and exercise parenting time with their child.

Arizona recognizes, as public policy and without evidence otherwise, it is in the child’s best interests to have substantial, frequent meaningful and continuing parenting time with both parents. (See A.R.S. §25-103).

Please contact an experienced family law lawyer to discuss your matter and learn exactly what you are entitled to.

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Bit of Information:

This page is meant to educate you regarding some of the aspects of Father's Rights in Arizona. Please understand, this page is intended to be educational only and each case has specific issues that may effect the information below. We recommend you consider discussing your matter with an experienced attorney.

What are my rights as a Father in Arizona?

We have found the two most common questions regarding Father’s Rights are “My girlfriend and I had a kid and now she won’t let me she them, what can I do?” and “My girlfriend is pregnant, what rights and responsibilities do I have?”

It is the public policy of Arizona that, it is in the child’s best interests, both parents participate in decision-making and that both parents have substantial, frequent, meaningful, and continuing parenting time. Mothers do not receive special consideration simply because they are the mother.

If a child a born from unmarried parents, paternity must be established for the father to begin asserting their rights. There is a presumption that a man is the father of a child if a birth certificate is signed by both the mother and father, acknowledgements of paternity were signed and notarized by both the mother and father, or a DNA test confirms a 95% probability of paternity. (See A.R.S. §25-814).

With paternity established, the Court can then enter orders regarding child custody and child support.

Without a Court order, a father may have difficulty seeing their child or having the ability to make decisions regarding their health, education and/or religion. This does not mean you must go to trial to receive a custody order from the Court. You and the child’s mother can work together to reach a schedule that fits both the needs of the child and the parents.

If you are experiencing problems exercising parenting time and/or legal decision-making you should consult an experienced family law lawyer.