It Is Your Right to Establish Paternity and Here’s How
Video Transcribed: Hello, my name is Attorney Jason Lyle, and I am a father’s rights attorney in Oklahoma. And because I do primarily family law in my practice, one of the questions that I often address is, how do you establish paternity for a child that you believe to be yours?
A couple of answers to that question. The most simple answer is that when the child is born and you’re married, there’s a presumption that you’re the father. Most of the time the hospital will give you a simple form called an acknowledgment of paternity, that’s basically an affidavit with two parties. You and the other parent. You both sign it, you turn it in to the state of Oklahoma, the Department of Human Services, and after two years, that’s legally undoable. And that means that even if you find out you’re not the father years after that, the state of Oklahoma and the Department of Human Services will consider you the legal father for the purposes of child support forever. Okay. That includes fraud or any other thing.
The second way that you can establish paternity is obviously if you’re unmarried, you can also have an acknowledgment of paternity executed. But let’s say that one isn’t executed because you caught this child early in his or her life and you don’t know who the father is, or you’re not sure, or you suspect it might not be you, or you suspect it might be you and the mother is denying that, you need to file a paternity lawsuit.
The first consideration in a paternity lawsuit is A, a lawyer. Get one, get one that’s good and experienced. I’d be happy to help you. But the second consideration is whether you need genetic testing. If you think that you are the father and you’re not married, you can request a court order for the mother to subject the child to genetic testing. It will be compared to your genetic information. And the court will make a judicial determination of paternity if you are the father.
Once that happens, it’s a court order. It’s judicially determined. That’s the end of that. If you’re not the father, obviously we have a whole different situation where you are no longer involved in that lawsuit, and the last way is that parties can agree. I know that sounds simple and it happens quite often, but it’s not always that simple. If the parties agree in open court, then you can stipulate to paternity and the result will be the same, that there’ll be a judicial determination based on your stipulation that you know who the father is and that’s you.
One complicated situation is if there has been another man that was declared the father and it’s been less than two years, you might need to bring that person into the lawsuit to either get them to sign a denial of paternity or to subject themselves to genetic testing. So that can be complicated.
If you have any questions about this or any other family law matter, again, I am Tulsa paternity lawyer Jason Lyle. My contact information can be found at tulsafathersrights.lawyer and at Dads.Law and I would be happy to consult with you about it. Thank you.