To establish paternity In Oklahoma you must follow very specific guidelines. Certainly, the conversation surrounding who is the father of a child can be an uncomfortable one. While popular television shows make light of the situation, determining if you are the father of a child is a serious matter with life-altering consequences. Couples that are not married may need assistance through the court if there is any doubt concerning who the father is. The process of establishing paternity (the identity of the father) can be complex and confusing. Its also necessary to those unmarried couples who want to get a custody and visitation order that is enforceable. Let’s take a look at how to establish paternity in Oklahoma, and what you can do if you suspect that a child may or may not be yours.
Married Couples Are Presumed To Be The Parents
If you are married and have a child, then the law in Oklahoma assumes that both you and your spouse are the biological parents of the child. What this means is that the husband will automatically be considered the father of the child in the eyes of the state. If you have doubt on who the father of the child is, then you must sign a denial of paternity form. Genetic testing may be available through your local court to determine who the natural father of the child is. In the event of a divorce the parents along with the courts if necessary can enter a child custody order.
Un-Married Parents Must Acknowledge Paternity
If you and the other parent of the child are not married and there is no disagreement on who the father is, then an acknowledgement form must be completed to establish paternity. This is a form which is typically provided and filled out at the hospital. You may also be able to complete this form at any time after the birth of the child. If for some reason this form is not filled out, then your child may not have a listed father which could affect your ability to pursue child support in the future.
What If I’m Not Sure Who The Father Is?
If you are unsure of who the father is (e.g. there are multiple possible fathers), then you can petition the court to have a DNA test done. The DNA test is performed by taking a swab of the child and the potential father(s). Results will take approximately four-to-six weeks. If the DNA test confirms that you are the father, then a judge will issue a court order establishing paternity. This order can later be used to change the child’s birth certificate and to pursue child support.
What If The Person I Believe To Be The Father Is Dead?
DNA testing can still be performed to establish paternity even if the person that you believe to be the father is deceased. If there are any tissue or blood samples still available from the deceased parent, then you may be able to have that tested to establish paternity. If that option is not available, then it is possible to have the living relatives of the deceased parent tested to establish paternity. This process will typically involve getting special permission from a judge.
Is DNA Testing Expensive?
In order to have DNA testing done, you must open up a child support case at your local family court. The cost to open a case is free. If it is determined that you are eligible to have DNA testing done and the test is positive, then the fee will be paid by the father. The cost of a DNA test through the court is much less than a private one. If the test is negative, then there will be no cost for preforming it.
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Oklahoma Paternity Lawyers
If you need to establish paternity In Oklahoma we can help get it done fast. Our Tulsa paternity lawyers have the experience of thousands of cases under our belts. We are skilled at helping clients resolve matters relating to paternity, child custody for unmarried parents, child support and more. To learn more about paternity and child custody actions and how this could affect your rights and obligations, touch base with Kania Law Office by calling (918) 743-2233 or by contacting us online.