Oklahoma City Paternity Rights Lawyer
Fathers’ rights have come a long way in the last few decades, and mothers and fathers now have equal rights in Oklahoma family law. Yet there is one clear exception. Fathers of children born out of wedlock have no parental rights until they establish paternity through a legal process.
If you are an unmarried father, then it is essential you establish paternity early. Otherwise, you could be left without legal rights to your children. It is common for questions of paternity to emerge months or years later, which can create emotional and financial turmoil within a family.
At Cannon & Associates, we strongly believe in the positive influence fathers have on their children, and we are committed to fighting fiercely on their behalf to establish paternity and protect their rights and interests.
The Court’s Presumption in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma City, OK if you are married to a mother when she gives birth to a child, it is presumed that you are the child’s father. That means you have assumed parental rights and responsibilities unless you or your wife questions paternity. If so, either party can sign a Husband’s Denial of Paternity form no later than two years after the birth of the child. DNA testing may be necessary to resolve the issue.
It is important to note that if you are legally married, you could be the presumed father even if you are separated from your partner. For example, perhaps you chose a legal separation rather than go through a divorce, in which case, even if you have been separated for a long time, you could end up with legal responsibilities to a child that is not your own.
Unmarried Presumed Fathers
If a mother is not married when her baby is born, then she has automatic custody of the child. The father has no parental rights, other than the right to prove that they are the father.
Once paternity has been established, the father then has the opportunity to fight for custody and support arrangements, just like a married father.
However, while paternity is pending, the father may still fight for temporary court orders on issues such as child custody and child support.
Rights and Privileges Between Parent and Child
Establishing paternity is important for all parties. It grants the father, mother, and children certain rights and privileges that benefit everyone.
Once paternity is established:
- You can legally establish parental rights and responsibilities through family court, including child custody.
- You ensure that your child has the right to inherit your assets when you die.
- You can legally add your child to health and insurance policies.
Your Child’s Rights
The child also benefits from established paternity, for example:
- Access to medical coverage from either parent.
- The right to emotional and financial guidance from both parents.
- The right to inherit assets from their father when they die.
Establishing Paternity in Oklahoma City, OK
If both the mother and father agree on who the father is, then paternity can be established voluntarily by signing the Acknowledgment of Paternity form. This can be filled out at the hospital after the child’s birth, or it can be completed at a later date and mailed to the Division of Vital Records. Parents have until the child turns 18 to establish paternity this way.
Oklahoma Father’s Rights Issues and Child Support
In Oklahoma, establishing paternity does not mean that a father is automatically granted parental rights such as custody and visitation, despite it making child support payments mandatory.
Once paternity has been established, the mother can seek child support in court, which can issue wage garnishment, contempt citation, or other enforcement. We can help protect you from excessive child support and court proceedings.
In order to fully benefit from the parent-child relationship, it is usually in your best interests to seek a DNA test so that paternity cannot be questioned. You may also decide to seek the help of a family law attorney, such as those at Cannon & Associates, to secure your rights to your child. We understand what an emotional and complex time this can be, but our attorneys are prepared to guide you every step of the way.
Father as The Primary Caregiver
Mothers’ and father’s rights should be balanced; despite this, men often have to fight harder to protect them. You do have the same legal standing as any mother in family law matters. We have worked with men who want to take on the role of primary caregiver, and it is no longer the case that women are automatically given full child custody and child support.
If you are taking on the role of a primary caregiver, then you may be owed child support. Both parents are required to contribute to the financial cost of their children equally. Whether you want to fight for visitation, shared custody, or sole custody, we can help. Remember, you have the same rights as your child’s mother in any family law matter.
Child Custody Arrangements in Oklahoma City, OK
The court will always prefer a joint custody arrangement unless there is evidence to show that one parent poses a risk to the child’s wellbeing. If you believe that you should have sole custody or your partner is fighting for sole custody, then it is essential you have legal representation from an attorney who will fight fiercely on your behalf.
Most cases will result in joint custody, which does not always mean an equal split of parenting time. Usually, one parent will be the primary custodian, and the children will live with them for the majority of the time. The other parent will then have visitation rights such as one weeknight per week and an overnight stay every other weekend.
If keeping involvement in your child’s life is important to you, you should make it clear from the beginning. Once a child custody order has been issued, it is difficult to change, and if your child’s mother is granted sole custody, she could make decisions without your input, such as moving far away.
Do dads have rights in Oklahoma?
Once paternity is established, fathers have the same rights as mothers in Oklahoma. However, fathers often still have to seek help from an attorney in order to secure visitation rights.
Do unwed fathers have rights in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma?
If you are not married to your child’s mother when the baby is born, then you will not legally be the father until you establish paternity. You can do this at the hospital or at a later date.
How do I get paternal rights in Oklahoma?
You can seek parental rights in Oklahoma if both mother and father agree by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. If the parties do not agree, then a DNA test may be necessary.
Contact an Oklahoma City Paternity Rights Lawyer Today
Mothers and fathers are considered equal under family law in Oklahoma. However, men often have to fight harder to secure their parental rights. At Cannon & Associates, our law services include family law, criminal defense, and personal injury, which means that we can navigate your case regardless of its complexity.
We have helped countless men protect their parental rights. We believe in your freedom to nurture your children, and we are prepared to be your fiercest advocate.
When you secure legal representation from us, you will benefit from a personalized approach to the attorney-client relationship. We will take the time to understand your needs, keep you informed, and will do whatever it takes to protect your future.Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our Oklahoma paternity attorneys at 405-591-3935.
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