Oklahoma City Father’s Rights Lawyer

Family courts in Oklahoma City have progressed a lot in terms of fathers’ rights over the last few decades, which is good news for men who are fighting for custody and increased visitation rights.

Gender is not the basis for being a good parent, and men should and do have the same rights as women to their minor children. Unless there is a reason why a parent should not be in a child’s life, children fair better when they have a close bond to both their mother and father, who should have equal access to them.

Although men and women should be treated equally in family law matters under Oklahoma law, there are many people who still have old-fashioned views. Mothers have been viewed as the primary caregivers for centuries, and men often have to fight harder to secure the same rights. Therefore it is essential that you have legal representation from a family law attorney who strongly advocates for men’s rights.

At Cannon & Associates, our Oklahoma City family law attorneys strongly believe in the positive role good dads play in their children’s lives and will fight fiercely on your behalf to protect your rights and interests.

Call us today to arrange a free consultation with an experienced father’s rights attorney in Oklahoma City. Call us now at 405-591-3935.

Establishing Paternity in Oklahoma City, OK

If you are not already the established father of your children, then the first step in the legal process will be to establish paternity. If you were married to your child’s mother when your child was born, then paternity will be automatic, and you can skip this step. If your child was born when you were not married to their mother, then you will need to establish paternity.

The simplest way to do this is for both the mother and father to voluntarily complete and sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity form. This is often filled out at the hospital where the child was born but can also be completed and mailed to the Division of Vital Records anytime before the child turns 18.

Problems With Establishing Paternity in Oklahoma City, OK

Unfortunately, establishing paternity does not automatically grant fathers custody and visitation rights, instead, the help of a skilled Oklahoma City family law attorney is necessary. However, establishing paternity does make child support payments mandatory. It enforces financial responsibility without the benefits of the parent-child relationship.

Therefore, it is often in your best interest to seek DNA testing so that there is no doubt that you are the father. This will also be necessary if the mother refuses to acknowledge paternity or you disagree about who the father is.

Another potential issue men often face is if their child was born to a mother who did not legally dissolve a previous marriage. Some couples choose not to divorce but rather go through a legal separation, often for religious reasons. However, the husband in the legal marriage will be the presumed father until you fight for your paternity rights.

Establishing paternity can be a highly complex and emotional time. Fortunately, a father’s rights lawyer at Cannon & Associates will fight fiercely on your behalf every step of the way.

Oklahoma Father’s Rights Issues

The move towards balancing the rights of mothers and fathers is clear, and you should assume that you have the same legal advantages as mothers in family law matters. It is now relatively common for men to take on the role of primary caregiver, and women are no longer automatically given full custody and child support.

Whatever family law matter you are struggling with, our Oklahoma City father’s rights lawyer can help. We are committed to keeping fathers in children’s lives and promoting what is in the best interest of the child. Whether you are looking to share custody or you are fighting for full custody. You may even be the one who is owed child support after divorce. Remember, you have exactly the same rights as your child’s mother.

Parental Rights and Privileges

Establishing paternity is important, as otherwise, you will not have any parental rights, including:

  • The right to establish parental rights and responsibilities through the court, including child custody.
  • The right to add your child to health insurance plans.
  • The right for your child to inherit property after your death.

Your Child’s Rights and Privileges

Establishing paternity not only benefits you as the father, but it also benefits your child.

  • Access to medical coverage from either parent.
  • The right to emotional and financial support from both parents.
  • Access to future benefits such as a pension, social security, and more.

How to Begin a Child Custody Case in Oklahoma City, OK

Child custody cases begin when either a Petition for Divorce or a Petition for Child Custody is filed with the court. Initially, the Petition will likely ask for sole custody, but this will not usually be the final order.

One parent may then request a Temporary Custody Order, which involves a hearing in front of a Judge. Or a Temporary Order may be enforced by the Judge without either parent’s request it. This places obligations on parents in regards to custody until a final decision can be made.

Types of Child Custody Arrangements

Our Oklahoma City family law attorneys will help you make sense of the types of custody arrangements and what makes sense for you. We are prepared to help you and your child’s mother come to a decision amicably using skills in mediation and negotiation. Or if necessary, we will fight fiercely for your rights in court.

There are two legal elements of any child custody case in Oklahoma they are physical custody and legal custody. It is essential that you have a basic understanding of both when facing a custody dispute.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is the legal term for where your children live. In most child custody cases, physical custody will be shared between parents, which is referred to as joint physical custody. There is a presumption that this should be shared as children benefit from having both parents in their lives. However, fathers often still have to fight for this basic right. Alternatively, if one parent has physical custody, then it is referred to as sole physical custody.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is the legal term for the rights to make decisions on the child’s behalf, including religious considerations, the child’s education, the medical care they receive and more.

Just like physical custody, legal custody can be granted to both parents (joint legal custody), or one parent (sole legal custody).

Does The Court Favor Sole or Joint Custody Arrangements?

The court will always favor joint custody arrangements unless one parent poses a risk to the child’s wellbeing, such as a history of abuse or substance misuse. Our father’s rights lawyers have worked with numerous men who have faced false allegations from mothers fighting for sole custody. If this is the case, then it is essential you have representation from an attorney who has the skills, resources, and experience necessary to take your case to court and fight fiercely on your behalf.

Our family law attorneys have also worked with numerous men who have felt that it was necessary to fight for sole custody. If you believe that you should have sole custody, then we can help you evidence your claims and protect your rights and your children.

How Does a Joint Child Custody Arrangement Work in Oklahoma City, OK?

Joint custody does not always mean a 50/50 split. While both parents have equal rights to their children, in reality, life’s responsibilities can make that challenging.

Often the best option is for one parent to be the primary custodian (the parent the child lives with the majority of the time), while the other follows a clear visitation schedule. The minimum amount of visitation in Oklahoma is one weeknight per week and overnight visits every other weekend.

However, if keeping your children in your life is important to you, then you need to make that clear from the beginning. If your child’s mother is granted sole legal custody, then they could move far away or make decisions without your input.

Few things are as important to us as our children. This is why it is so important that you seek experienced legal counsel as early as possible. Once a family law matter has been determined in a court of law, it is very difficult to change. Therefore, it is essential that the decisions are made with your child’s best interest at heart.

How Does The Family Court Determine Custody in Oklahoma City, OK

A family court judge must make decisions based on what is in the child’s best interest. That often means minimizing disruptions to the child’s life. When making custody decisions, they may consider many factors, including:

  • The wishes of both parents.
  • The ability of each parent to meet the child’s ongoing needs.
  • The mental and physical health of all parties.
  • The wishes of the child (depending on their age).
  • The existing relationship between the child and each parent.
  • The willingness of each parent to accommodate visitation with the other.
  • Keeping the child’s community consistent, i.e. proximity to wider family members, religious institutions, and school.
  • Any history of abuse.
  • Each parent’s commitment and how much time they can dedicate to their child.
  • The criminal history of both parents or any history of substance misuse.
  • The previous involvement of each parent in the child’s life includes attending school meetings, arranging dentist appointments, etc.

Child Support Order

When it comes to fathers’ rights, child support is often a big legal issue. You may be concerned about how you can afford to pay it, especially if your child’s mother is pushing for a large sum.

Remember, if you are the primary custodian, then your child’s mother may be the one who owes you child support payments.

It is essential that you are treated fairly in a child support case. Both parents should financially contribute to their children, but it should always be affordable. We can help ensure a fair and reasonable agreement.

It is important to understand that child support payments do not disappear if you fail to pay them. They only build up, and they may be enforced at some point through wage garnishment or asset seizure. If you need a child support payment to be modified so that you can afford it then you should speak to a family law attorney as soon as possible. Your order may be modified, but it will not affect what you owe already, so the sooner, the better.

Can a Final Child Support or Child Custody Order Be Changed?

Once a child custody order has been determined, it is legally binding. That means that both parents are required to adhere to it. However, they can sometimes be modified. In order to modify an order, a motion will need to be filed with the court, and you will need to prove that there has been a material substantial change in circumstances and that a change is in the child’s best interests.

Examples could include a change in job, job loss, relocation, changing needs of the child, illness, and more. An Oklahoma City father’s rights lawyer can help you evidence your need for a modification and secure a favorable result.

Oklahoma Fathers Right’s FAQ

Do dads have rights in Oklahoma?

Fathers have the same rights as mothers in Oklahoma. However, if paternity is unestablished, then the father has virtually no parental rights. They will therefore need to establish paternity through the legal process.

Do unwed fathers have rights in Oklahoma?

When a child is born, and the parents are married, paternity is presumed and automatically established. However, unwed fathers must establish paternity in order to secure fathers’ rights.

Is Oklahoma a father state?

Oklahoma is sometimes referred to as a ‘mother state’. This is because if the couple is not married and has a child, the court will often grant the mother custody unless the father takes legal action.

How do I get parental rights in Oklahoma?

If you are not married to your child’s mother when your child is born, you will need to establish paternity. This happens when both parents sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form or if the father seeks DNA testing.

What if I am married, but I am not the Father?

If you are married to a woman who has a child that is not yours, then you will need to sign a Husband’s Denial of Paternity form no later than two years after the birth of the child. You may need to undergo DNA testing to prove that the child is not yours. It is important to note that if you underwent a legal separation with your ex-spouse and not a divorce, then you could still be the presumed father of her future children unless you take steps to deny your paternity.

Contact an Oklahoma City Father’s Rights Lawyer Today

As a father in Oklahoma, you have the same rights as any mother. However, you may still need to fight to protect them and your children. You, therefore, need a law firm that is committed to your best interest and who is prepared to fight fiercely on your behalf.

At Cannon & Associates, our practice areas cover criminal defense and family law, meaning we can handle whatever your case throws at us. We are proud to be spearheaded by John Cannon, who has the highest possible AVVO rating of 10.0, an independent review site that considers things such as awards, years of experience, professional associations, and client reviews. We have helped countless men protect their rights and their children. We believe in your freedom to see your children, and we are committed to being your fiercest advocate.

We have a stellar approach to the attorney-client relationship and will always be there to answer your questions and guide you and your journey. We will do everything possible to meet your need and protect your future.Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our father’s rights lawyers at 405-591-3935.

Cannon & Associates

Fierce Advocates®

For Families and Freedom

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