Paternity is the status of being one’s father. Oklahoma paternity laws are complex and varied. There is legal paternity, which includes the legal obligation to support a child and the right to care and visitation, and biological paternity, which is the biological fact of having a child. Most paternity actions are brought forward to establish financial or moral responsibilities, gain visitation rights, or resolve other controversial issues between parents. Once the decision is made, the judge can make a decision on the issues outlined above or the parties can reach a private agreement.
Historically, unmarried fathers have enjoyed fewer rights with respect to their children. If an unmarried father wishes to defend his rights with minimal court intervention, he must acknowledge the father and, if possible, reach an agreement with the mother confirming his status. If another man becomes the alleged father, retaining full rights for an unmarried father becomes difficult. Assuming that no other male attempts to be identified as the father of the child, the unmarried father can retain visitation rights and seek custody of the child. A person who wants to establish legal paternity brings paternity action. Paternity is established by more evidence in the civil paternity process. This means, based on the evidence presented, it is very likely that the man is the father of the child.
Paternity can be established in many ways:
DNA testing: DNA testing is generally done only when one party sues the father in legal action; The laboratory collects genetic samples from the child, mother, and suspected biological father. The genetic samples are then compared to determine whether the father is the biological father of the child; the DNA test is 99% accurate. Paternity is usually proven through DNA testing. If the mother or father does not consent to the DNA test as requested by the other parent, the parent who wants the test can file a motion with the court that made this request. If the DNA of the child and the DNA of the father do not match, paternity is denied. If the DNA samples match, then paternity can be legally established.
Birth Certificate: The law considers the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate as an acknowledgment of paternity.
Legal Declaration: Paternity can also be established by filing a paternity act with a court asking the court to determine paternity. The court may then issue a paternity order based on the evidence presented.
As with any court action, it starts with preparing the necessary documents as required by the court, submitting the documents to the court, and then submitting the documents to the opposing party. If the father demands such action, the father will serve documents regarding the child’s mother. If the mother, child, or government agency submits an action, the document will be submitted to the father. An attorney for paternity lawsuits can be very helpful in ensuring that a paternity lawsuit is necessary in a person’s case, in preparing paperwork, and in complying with all local court rules.