Oklahoma City Paternity Lawyer

Paternity means legal fatherhood under Oklahoma law. While most married fathers are automatically granted paternity under state law, establishing paternity is necessary in certain circumstances.

Establishing paternity is essential for many reasons; it protects a father’s legal rights and responsibilities and ensures the child is eligible for healthcare insurance and child support. Call a knowledgeable Oklahoma City paternity lawyer if you need help asserting your rights or have questions about the process. Our team of family attorneys at The Smith Firm are committed to protecting your rights as a parent, and we are happy to walk you through your options.

The Presumption of Paternity

When a baby is born to a married couple in Oklahoma, the state automatically considers the husband as the child’s legal father. The Uniform Parentage Act provides details of the presumption of paternity and other options. Recent law changes allow unmarried couples to sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity at birth, though this is not an option for everyone. A knowledgeable paternity lawyer could provide more clarification on when an Acknowledgement of Paternity can be signed in Oklahoma City.

The Uniform Parentage Act outlines legal protections for children, ensuring they have specific legal rights like being the beneficiary of an inheritance. Both parents share the legal rights and responsibilities to care for and have access to the child, even when they are unmarried. The lawyers at The Smith Firm are well-versed in the ins and outs of state paternity laws and could provide families with crucial guidance.

Establishing Paternity in Oklahoma City

Disputes arising over the establishment and legal rights of the paternal father are not uncommon, and there are various options available to parents when necessary. Parents may establish or deny paternity using an Acknowledgment of Paternity form, a court order, or a Husband’s Denial of Paternity form.

Acknowledgment of Paternity

Often, the most straightforward and effective way to establish fatherhood is with an Acknowledgement of Paternity affidavit. Married and unmarried couples can sign the form at birth and file it with the state. The acknowledgment becomes irreversible two years after the date of execution; even if the father finds out they are not the biological parent after this time, they are still legally responsible for the child.

Court Order to Establish Paternity

When parents have disputes or disagreements about paternity, it may be necessary to request the court to establish fatherhood. This process involves:

  • Establishing paternity with a DNA test
  • Determining the child’s best interest
  • Calculating and ordering child support

Using a court order to establish paternity tends to be complex and time-consuming, so it is always advisable to work with a skilled local lawyer during this process.

Denying Paternity

Denying paternity may be necessary when a married woman has a baby with a man other than her husband. The husband must file a denial of paternity form within two years of the birth if they are not the biological father.

The order will prevent the husband from being legally responsible for the child, but the court will require a DNA test before finalizing the order. A paternity attorney could review the options in detail and help determine the best way forward.

Meet With an Experienced Oklahoma City Paternity Lawyer

Fathers’ parental rights have come a long way over the years, and the court grants both parents the same legal rights after establishing paternity. Whether you need to enforce your rights as a father or deny paternity, it is important to do so with a seasoned legal professional by your side. An Oklahoma City paternity lawyer could answer your questions, explain your choices, and advocate for your rights. Contact The Smith Firm today to schedule your consultation with a dedicated member of our team.