For married and unmarried parents alike, paternity in Oklahoma questions and disputes are often very complicated, time-sensitive matters. We realize that here at the Tulsa Family Law Firm of Fry & Elder, which is why we act aggressively and accordingly in handling any and all paternity issues. Below are the answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about paternity in Oklahoma.
In regards to Tulsa paternity, why does it matter if you are married or not?
For those couples that are married in Oklahoma, there is a “presumption of paternity” that the husband is the father when the wife has a child. This enables the baby to automatically enjoy certain rights such as inheritance that otherwise would not automatically be available. The rules are not the same for unmarried couples. For starters, there is no “presumption” that the biological father is the legal father when an unmarried woman has a baby. An unmarried couple must establish paternity for Oklahoma to observe that the biological father. This ultimately means that an unmarried couple has to get through some legal obstacles to ensure that the state recognizes that the baby’s biological father is its legal father.
What are the benefits of establishing paternity in Oklahoma?
Regardless of whether or not the parents have a loving or non-loving relationship, there are a number of reasons why the parents should want to establish paternity in Oklahoma of the child. A big reason is that the parents can work together to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. Additionally, both parents have the right to go to the judge to order a custody and visitation schedule. This child also will have a greater sense of inclusion from being exposed to both sides of the family.
What happens if I am unsure about whom the child’s father is?
Then it is vital that you ask for a DNA test. This is important because the courts can look at multiple factors in determining whether or not a man is the father of the child. The man holding himself out to be the father of the child or a signed affidavit of paternity falls into this category. When the man has taken certain actions, like holding the child out on his own, or if it has been legally established that the man is the father of the child, typically the man only has until the child’s second birthday to contest the ruling.
What action should I take if I am ultimately determined to be the father of the child?
If this is the determined outcome, then it would be in your best interest to begin paying child support ASAP. Oklahoma law permits the mother to seek child support, which include birthing costs, dating back five years from the filing. Back child support calculation rarely is impacted by the man not knowing about the child or not getting to visit the child.
Experience the Fry & Elder Difference
Chances are you might have more questions in regards to paternity in Oklahoma or any other Tulsa family law isssue. If that is indeed the case then we encourage you to contact Fry & Elder today to set up a personal consultation. Our team of proven family lawyers are some of the most highly regarded and experienced in the state. Robert G “Hap” Fry Jr. has been named a “Super Lawyer” in Oklahoma and is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Firm attorneys James Elder, M. Shane Henry, Aaron D. Bundy and Fry all have garnered the prestigious AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindal-Hubbell®, which is the highest recognition in the legal industry. Additionally, the Tulsa family law firm of Fry & Elder made the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Law Firms from 2014 through 2016.