For a man who is married when his wife conceives, Oklahoma law presumes he is the father of the child. As a matter of law, he enjoys the attendant rights and responsibilities of parenthood – and the child enjoys the rights and privileges associated with having two parents.
Whether he is the father or not, the presumption of fatherhood is there from the beginning if he is married. If, however, a man conceives a child out of wedlock, there is no such presumption. He will need to establish paternity before the State of Oklahoma will recognize him as the child’s legal father.
Because of the lifelong implications for parents and children, determination of paternity can become very complicated very quickly. If you have concerns related to paternity determination and parentage, it’s time to consult with an experienced Tulsa fathers’ rights lawyer.
Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity
When an unmarried woman gives birth in Oklahoma, there is no legal presumption of paternity for her partner – or anyone else. Nevertheless, the woman and her partner can complete and file with a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form that will legally establish the partner’s paternity. The form can be completed in the hospital at the time of birth or at anytime thereafter.
A man may feel pressure – from within or from others – to complete an acknowledgement of paternity at birth even though they might have doubts. Some men have claimed paternity to spare a child knowledge that another man of questionable character is the father. Others have acknowledged paternity out of sympathy for a mother, knowing they are not likely the true father. Yet their decision made in the tender moments after childbirth can have lifelong implications.
When you are uncertain that you are the father of the child in question, testing for paternity is probably in order. The strongest bonds between a parent and a child are often established in the first moments after birth, so you don’t want to miss out on a thing.
Establishing paternity quickly protects your parental rights, protects your child’s rights and privileges, and allows you to move forward in establishing child custody arrangements and in determining child support. If you have paternity concerns for your Oklahoma child, consult with a skilled child custody attorney for men.
Either Parent’s Paternity Lawsuit
Either a putative father or a child’s mother can file a paternity lawsuit requesting that the court adjudicate a child’s legal paternity. Such a litigious step is often reserved for those cases where a significant dispute regarding parentage or parental rights occurs. If the case continues to court, the judge is likely to require a DNA test. If the test confirms parentage with a high degree of certainty, the judge will most likely issue an order that legally establishes your paternity.
Oklahoma Child Support Services Paternity Lawsuit
When the State of Oklahoma provides a mother and child with assistance, Oklahoma Child Support Services (OCSS) can file a paternity lawsuit to enforce a father’s financial obligation. A court order for child support cannot be sought, however, until OCSS establishes the child’s paternity. A paternity lawsuit brought by OCSS proceeds in the same manner as a lawsuit that’s brought by either parent.
Consult with an Experienced Tulsa Men’s Rights Attorney Today
Paternity issues are complicated and contentious, but establishing your paternity is also an important right and responsibility. If you have concerns or questions about establishing the paternity of your child – or if you’re simply unsure about how best to proceed – you need the professional legal guidance of a skilled Tulsa child custody attorney for men.
Call the Tulsa paternity attorney for men at (918) 986-7724 or contact us online for more information today.