In Oklahoma family law Courts child paternity cases occupy larger and larger numbers as the years have passed. When a child is born to a married woman, the legal presumption is that the husband is the biological father. Therefore, the father’s parental rights and responsibilities are established automatically. In the event of a divorce, the court will decree custody, visitation, and child support. However, if a child is born to an unwed mother, no presumption of parentage exists. Therefore the father’s rights and responsibilities must be established by the courts. Or in other words, paternity must be established in the biological father before he can assert his rights.
The Oklahoma Uniform Paternity Act allows either parent to file a Petition for the Determination of Paternity (Paternity Action). When a parent files the action they are seeking a decree of paternity. The decree establishes the father/child relationship, custody, visitation, child support and other issues. Until a paternity action has been determined, the mother, of a child born out of wedlock, has sole custody of the child.
Mothers Filing Child Paternity
As mother of a child born out of wedlock, you may wish to file a paternity action if the father denies that he is the parent and/or refuses to provide support for the child. By filing a paternity action you will be able to establish that the suspected father is in fact the biological father and therefore has a legal duty to support the child. Then the law allows for the collection of back child support for up to five (5) years prior to filing to establish paternity. In addition the father is responsible for a portion or all medical costs dealing with the prenatal care and birth. This may also include providing health insurance and for a pro rata share of work related day care expenses.
Fathers Filing Child Paternity
As the father of a child born out of wed lock, you may wish to file a paternity action if the
mother denies you are the father or will not allow you to have a relationship with the child. By filing a paternity action you will be able to assert and establish your parental rights. Upon asserting your parental rights in district court, there are good arguments for fathers getting joint custody and equal access to their children.
Decree of Paternity
Paternity actions are generally brought in the District Court for the county in which the child lives. At the conclusion of the paternity action you will receive a decree of paternity. The decree of paternity establishes the father/child relationship, custody, visitation, child support and other issues. In establishing the father/child relationship the court is guaranteeing all the rights and obligations as a parent as if the child was born of a marriage.
Child Paternity Lawyers Near You
If you’ve got children born to unwed parents and need an order for custody and visitation we can help. The thing about getting an order in place is that it makes life easier. With an order in place any confusion regarding rights an obligations of the parents is resolve. In addition to it resolving problems the process it self is straight forward. Call our Tulsa lawyers and get a free consultation or submit a question to our ask a lawyer tab