How to Establish or Deny Paternity in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, you can establish or deny paternity with an Acknowledgment of Paternity form, a Husband’s Denial of Paternity form, or a court order. Establishing paternity is important when an unmarried couple has a baby, and denying paternity may be appropriate when a married woman has a child with a man who is not her husband.
What Is Paternity?
The term, “paternity,” is synonymous with “fatherhood” and the gender-neutral term, “parentage.” When you establish paternity, you gain parental rights and responsibilities, and the court recognizes you as the child’s father.
Married fathers do not have to establish paternity because the court presumes a woman’s husband is the father of her child. If a father has doubts about this fact, however, he can sign a Husband’s Denial of Paternity form. The court will accept the form and relieve the husband of his rights and responsibilities toward the child if both parents sign.
For unmarried fathers, paternity is not an automatic process, but if both parents sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form, establishing paternity is easy.
If there are any disagreements about paternity, the court can order genetic testing and use the results to establish paternity via a court order.
How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity in Oklahoma?
A father can establish paternity from birth until the child’s 18th birthday. If a father wishes to add his name to his child’s birth certificate after the child turns 18, the grown child must fill out the Adult Child’s Consent to Acknowledgement to accompany their father’s Acknowledgment of Paternity form.
How Long Does a Father Have to Challenge Paternity in Oklahoma?
In proven cases of fraud, a father may challenge paternity any time before the child turns 18. Otherwise, anyone who wishes to challenge paternity must do so within 2 years of the child’s birth.
Please note that proving fraud is difficult, and challenging paternity after a child’s second birthday is uncommon. Still, if you have been the victim of paternity fraud, you have a right to come forward up until the child in question’s 18th birthday.
What Are the Benefits of Establishing Paternity?
Establishing paternity benefits you, your partner, and your child:
- Your child will have legal documentation of both biological parents, support from each parent, insurance coverage, access to important benefits, and inheritance rights. Your child will also have a greater understanding of their family history, including family medical records, and the emotional benefits of knowing both of their parents.
- You will gain legal rights and responsibilities, including the right to spend time with your child and make important decisions on their behalf. Additionally, you will be able to give your child your last name and make sure they can inherit property and benefits from you if you pass away. You will also have access to the emotional rewards of fatherhood.
- Your partner will gain financial stability and support and important information about her child’s heritage. She will also benefit from shared parental responsibilities.
Please note that all these benefits apply whether or not you and your partner stay together to raise your child, and your child only stands to benefit from your decision to establish paternity.
What Are the Benefits of Denying Paternity?
If you deny paternity, you will not be financially responsible for a child that is not yours. This may make it easier for you to move forward if you have been the victim of adultery or fraud.
Nevertheless, denying paternity is a serious decision, and it can cause emotional upheaval for both you and the child in question, especially if you have been raising the child as your own.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you and the child’s mother agree on who the father is, you do not need a lawyer to establish or deny paternity. On the other hand, you may want to hire an attorney if there is any disagreement on who the child’s father is.
Nichols Dixon can help you resolve matters of paternity in court. We are attorneys who genuinely care, and we create personalized strategies to meet each client’s needs. No matter how complex your case is, we have the experience needed to handle it, and you can trust us to be honest and straightforward every step of the way.
If you are looking for professional, reputable representation during your paternity case, look no further than our firm. Call us at (405) 294-1511 or contact us online to start protecting your family and your future today.