In Arizona, paternity proceedings are governed under A.R.S. §25-801. A paternity case usually involves young couples that have a child born out of wedlock. A paternity is like a divorce but without the division of debts and assets. In a paternity case, issues of joint or sole decision-making ( ie, child custody), parenting time ( ie, visitation) and child support come into play.

There has been a recent change to the law under A.R.S. §25-403.02 that calls for doing away with gender bias and allowing "both parents to share legal decision-making regarding their child and that maximizes their respective parenting time." In summary, this allows more single fathers and mothers to have joint legal decision-making rights and equal parenting time with their children. Some judges start with the presumption that both parents will share equal time with the children unless there is evidence that it would not be in the child's best interest to have either father or mother share equal parenting time.