Establish Paternity Is the First Important Step
Video Transcribed: Hello, my name is Tulsa Father’s Rights Attorney Jason Lile and I am the Dads.Law attorney for Northeastern Oklahoma.
I wanted to talk to you today about a topic that can be a bit confusing. Can a father get custody of an unborn child? Can you come to a lawyer and start that process before the child is born? And the answer, the short answer, is no. The court has no jurisdiction over an unborn child. So what you can do is you can consult with a lawyer and be ready for when that child is born with court proceedings. But until it’s born, you cannot initiate proceedings.
Another thing that you should probably know is in Oklahoma, the law is that if you are not married to the mother, then the mother has sole legal custody by default when that child’s born. Although you technically have visitation rights and physical custody rights, they aren’t established, not enforceable, because you don’t have an order. So I often have clients come to me and say, “The mother’s not giving me visitation. The baby was born a month ago, two months ago.” You do need to file a paternity lawsuit. So it helps if you consult a lawyer who understands the way the system works, understands the law in Oklahoma. If the mother of your child is pregnant and you aren’t getting along well enough for you to have agreed upon physical visitation, and even if you are, I think it’s always important to consult a lawyer and begin that process in something akin to a friendly suit.
Because if that relationship should go south or your agreements stop coming as agreements, it’s very possible and likely that the mother will say, “Well, I’m not going to let you see the child”, in which case you have nothing that you can fall back on to enforce that. And then at that point, you’ll have to start the suit and it will take a while for that suit to get moving along before you’re able to see that child. So I always recommend that you consult a lawyer, if you are about to have a baby and you’re an unmarried man and you do not have an agreement in place yet, then you should consult a lawyer and start a paternity lawsuit.
Again, my name is Jason Lile, I’m the Dads.Law attorney for Northeastern Oklahoma. And if you have this or any other family law problem and need help for an Oklahoma child custody lawyer, I’d be happy to consult with you. Thank you for your time.