Fathers and mothers have distinct and important roles in the development of a child. Children who grew up without their fathers or mothers are more likely to show emotional, physical, and/or mental vulnerability compared to those who did. Fathers have the same rights as mothers, in Oklahoma divorce proceedings. Unfortunately, in many cases, fathers get cheated out of being a part of their children’s growth and development. If you are a father going through a divorce, you should be aware of father’s rights in Oklahoma divorce cases and how it impacts you.

What does Oklahoma Law Say About Father’s Rights?

In an Oklahoma divorce proceeding, father’s rights are equal to mothers; however, the logistics of many family dynamics in our state, i.e. mother’s often being the primary caretaker, puts dads at a disadvantage in many Oklahoma divorces.

In paternity actions, fathers have no rights to their children, until a paternity action is initiated. Therefore, father’s rights are difficult to enforce in the absence of a court order. Fathers who wish to be actively involved in the growth, choices, and development of their children need to work towards it. These fathers need to establish paternity and obtain a court order to assert their rights. With paternity established, other matters like child support, custody and visitation rights, and other issues will be properly addressed.

The Oklahoma Father’s Rights policy or simply child custody policy states:

  • Minor children will continue to have a relationship with parents who have shown the ability to act in the interest of their children.
  • Parents are encouraged to take up joint responsibility in the care and welfare of their children after separation or divorce.

What you Should Know about Fathers’ Rights in Oklahoma

1st Thing you Should Know about Father’s Rights in Oklahoma

No parent enjoys preferential treatment during a child custody case. This means that fathers are legally allowed to petition for custody. This can be done as part of the divorce proceeding or as a stand-alone petition.

2nd Thing you Should Know about Father’s Rights in Oklahoma

In the absence of a court order that stipulates custody arrangements, both parents have equal rights to the custody of their children. If both parents cannot agree on a custody term, the court will determine what is in the child’s best interest.

3rd Thing you Should Know about Father’s Rights in Oklahoma

An Oklahoma court cannot decide on custody matters unless it has jurisdiction over the case. Oklahoma’s jurisdiction law must be met for an Oklahoma judge to rule over such a matter. Contact Cannon & Associates to find out about Oklahoma custody laws at they apply to your case.

4th Thing you Should Know about Father’s Rights in Oklahoma

Courts can consider a child’s preference when deciding on custody cases. However, the child’s age can play an important role in whether their preferences will be considered or not. Courts will continue to make custody decisions in the best interest of the child.

5th Thing you Should Know about Father’s Rights in Oklahoma

A father can petition a court to change the terms of custody if a substantial and material change in circumstance occurs that appears to impact the child’s best interest. This holds if the mother is relocating out of town, remarrying, or has been arrested and convicted for criminal involvement.

6th Thing you Should Know about Father’s Rights in Oklahoma

Fathers do not have an automatic right to custody or visitation rights. If the child was born outside marriage, the father is expected to accept paternity and then file a petition requesting paternity tests. The result of the paternity test will determine the father’s legal standing to file a custody and visitation case.

7th Thing you Should Know about Father’s Rights in Oklahoma

If a father has obtained a court order granting him custody, the mother cannot refuse to return the child or take the child hostage after visitation. Refusing the child’s return to the father can be termed kidnapping.

Conclusion on Thing you Should Know about Father’s Rights in Oklahoma 

Fathers are encouraged to honor their custody and visitation arrangement to improve the relationship between them and their children. Fathers should make a point to make the relationship with their children a priority.

Every year family courts and family law judges across the state of Oklahoma are taking a more neutral stance on preference for mothers and fathers in custody case. What this means for you as a father is your actions and your relationship with your children plays a major role in the amount of time and decision-making authority you can have in your children’s lives after divorce.  Our Fierce Advocates are dedicated to maximizing your time and relationship with your children. With our proven tactics, you have an increased chance in receiving substantial time with your children in your divorce or custody case.

Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights as a father and to speak to one of our Fierce Advocates for Families. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at (405) 657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.