Mr Cannon was dedicated to telling my side truthfully in my custody battle and his patience with our situation is that of a saint. I would highly recommend him for any legal matters, and we thank him for his time helping our family. – Samantha Prock
PATERNITY RIGHTS IN OKLAHOMA
Cannon Law Firm is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for those seeking to establish paternity of a minor child or protect your child’s rights by enforcing a paternity action. It is crucial you contact an experienced Oklahoma Family Law Attorney, if you are a seeking to establish paternity of a minor child in Oklahoma. You need a Fierce Advocate to help you obtain rights to your minor child as a father or protect your child’s rights, if you are a mother seeking to establish paternity. This page is an overview of the most common issues in Oklahoma paternity actions clients face when they contact Cannon Law Firm.
A FATHER’S PERSPECTIVE
As a father, nothing is more intimidating than the prospect of not being allowed to spend time with my children. Oklahoma law establishes protections for fathers’ rights; however, many of these rights are not accessible to unmarried fathers until a paternity is established. The process of establishing paternity does not have to be difficult or complicated. The process is much smoother with experienced paternity counsel and necessary if one party is contesting paternity. Cannon Law Firm represents fathers, mothers, and children in paternity proceedings throughout Oklahoma.
Everyday across Oklahoma, courts decide whether to award sole custody or joint custody in divorce and paternity actions for unmarried parents. The amount of time a father has his children is dependent upon a large number of factors; however, none of these issues can be raised until a legal determination is made concerning paternity. Without the legal status of being a child’s father, Oklahoma courts do not recognize a presumptive father’s legal rights to shared parenting time or decision making authority concerning a child’s welfare and upbringing.
Oklahoma law and courts no longer favor mothers over fathers in custody decisions; however, fathers must act in order to establish their parental rights by establishing paternity, if they want to play a decisive role in raising their child. Oklahoma law requires family law judges consider the “best interest of the child” in regards to their physical, mental, and moral welfare pursuant to OKLA. STAT. tit. 43 § 109. You can use the fact your children prefer to live with you to your advantage in child custody cases in Oklahoma.
PATERNITY AND CHILD SUPPORT
Oklahoma law imposes a legal obligation on both parents to financially support their children. This requirement applies to all parents, even if they were never married. Without a paternity determination there is no legally enforceable way to make a child’s biological father pay child support.
Once paternity is established in court, a child’s mother or the child to seek a court order enforcing child support obligations upon the legal father. The mother or child can seek a contempt citation, wage garnishment, or other protections upon a court order establishing paternity being entered. Whether seeking to enforce child support or protect yourself from excessive child support, Cannon Law Firm can help you through the complicated process of contested child support actions, including these proceedings in paternity cases.
When an unmarried couple have a child and the father consents to be legally identified as the child’s father, an Acknowledgment of Paternity form can be signed to establish paternity. Both parties can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, which is available at any hospital or through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services website.
However, this process will only establish paternity for child support purposes. An Acknowledgment of Paternity form, even if signed in the hospital at the time of birth does not establish custody or other legal rights for a father. You should never sign an acknowledgement of paternity without being certain of the father. Upon signing the Acknowledgement of Paternity, a father becomes legally obligated to support and care for the minor child.
Additionally, paternity can be established by a simply DNA test. The most common test is a painless buccal swab from the person’s mouth. The sample is collected and submitted to a lab for DNA testing comparison to the child. Generally, DNA testing is 99.9% reliable.
Unfortunately, in some circumstances paternity can be questioned regarding children born to married parents. Under Oklahoma law, a husband is deemed the presumptive father; however, this presumption can be rebutted by evidence of the biological father. This area of paternity is very complicated, whether a client is seeking to deny paternity of a child or establish paternity of a child born to another married couple.
When a mother or alleged father are uncertain of the biological father, neither party should sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity. As discussed above, DNA testing should be used to determine who the biological father is for the child. When both parties agree to DNA testing being performed the process can be very simply by scheduling an appointment with an appropriate lab.
However, when either party refuses to conduct genetic testing or acknowledge paternity, one of the parties will need to initiate court proceedings through a paternity action to establish the biological father and his rights and obligations.
Paternity issues are emotional and legally complex. Seeking the enforcement of child support, health insurance, or benefits should not be done without the help and support of an experienced family law attorney. Additionally, fathers seeking rights or establishment of paternity should not face the process without the support of experienced family law counsel.
Oklahoma law requires family court judges enforce fair treatment of mothers and alleged or presumptive fathers; however, this is not always the case. When it comes to child custody and paternity in Oklahoma, it is very important you hire the right attorney to Fight for You and protect your rights.
It is my hope this page has answered some of your questions regarding paternity in Oklahoma, if not please contact Cannon Law Firm or visit our other pages concerning Father’s Rights.
Experience matters when time with your children is on the line. It is important to know the attorney you hire is dedicated to your cause. John Cannon, owner of Cannon Law Firm, PLLC is a father and understands the importance of the issues you are facing. He will personally represent you and work along-side you during the entire process. He will keep you informed. John has the experience you need and will bring it to bear in your case.
Additionally, John Cannon has an outstanding record of reaching the best possible outcome for hundreds of clients, evidenced by receiving the highest possible AVVO rating – 10 (superb). Contact Cannon Law Firm, PLLC to protect your rights and Fight your Case. You may send an email inquiry, complete the contact form on our website, or call at 405-888-7369 for a free confidential consultation.