Know Your Rights as the Father

When a child is born out of wedlock in Oklahoma, custody is given to the mother. The father must go through court to legally prove his paternity. Even if the man’s name is on the birth certificate or he has filed an Acknowledgment of Paternity he still does not have custody and visitation rights. The father must file a Paternity action in District Court to be adjudicated the father and establish custody and visitation rights. If you find yourself dealing with this situation, visit Hood & Barnett PLLC. We’ll explain your rights and help you:

Get tested to confirm that you’re the biological father

This is time limited as to when you may request genetic testing. The first time you have knowledge of the child; if you are unsure then you should file your court action and request genetic testing.

However, if you have knowledge of the child and hold yourself out as the child's father, are on the child's birth certificate, or signed an Acknowledgement of Paternity then you will be presumed to be the father of the child. At that point you have only until the child reaches the age two to make a request to the court for testing. Even at that point it is within the discretion of the court to order the testing.

Once the father is established child support will be ordered. This can be down for the proceeding two years regardless the age of the child. Courts can also order the Father to pay a portion of the child birth expense.

It does not matter if the father did not know about the child.

Child Support will be established based upon the parties combined gross monthly income pursuant to the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines.

Establish visitation rights

You must go to a district court to establish visitation for a child born out of wedlock. DHS has authority to determine paternity in order to establish child support only. Visitation cannot be established through DHS.

If parties agree to visitation then at any point the Mother can stop visitation as she is the only party with custody. So the Father must go to a district court to get a Court Order for visitation to have visitation rights that are enforceable.

Request sole or joint custody

Joint Custody does not mean that parent will have equal time or will not pay child support. It means that parents will work together in making decisions for the children relating to their Health, Education, Religion and well being. If parents cannot communicate and work together then one party may be awarded sole custody.

Sole Custody means that one parent, with or without the consultation of the other, will make the decisions as to the Health, Education, Religion and well being of the children. It does not mean they may dictate what the other parent does with the child. Nor does it mean the other parent cannot obtain medical and school records or attend medical and school events.

We’ll guide you through this complex process and answer any questions you may have along the way.

Trust us to help you with your paternity law case in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Call 918-794-0391 now to schedule a consultation.