Establishing paternity is vital to ensuring your children have the financial and emotional support they are entitled to. If there is uncertainty regarding your child’s paternity, you will need to establish legal paternity prior to taking other legal measures.
Our family lawyers in OKC are experienced in handling paternity cases, and we’ll ensure the rights of you and your children are defended to the full extent of the law.
Paternity refers to legally establishing who is the father of a child. With married couples, paternity is automatically given to the husband. If a couple is not married, there is no automatic granting of paternity. At The Law Office of Rhonda Telford Naidu, we can help you establish paternity, which opens the door to child support and child custody arrangements.
Oklahoma law has two options for establishing paternity: voluntary paternity and suing for paternity. With voluntary paternity, the father signs an Acknowledgement of Paternity, or AOP. This is a legally binding document that is often signed in hospitals after a child is born. The form must be witnessed.
If the father signed the AOP, the right to genetic testing is waived, and the father agrees to pay child support and provide health insurance to the child if needed. It also allows custody arrangements to be made, as unmarried women are automatically granted sole custody of their children when they are born.
In general, an AOP should only be signed if the father is certain he is the biological father of the child. If you are presented with an AOP and are uncertain whether to sign, you can consult our family law attorney in Oklahoma City/Tulsa for assistance.
The other option for establishing paternity is filing a lawsuit. Our family lawyers in OKC can assist you with this process. Child Support Services will sometimes file a paternity suit as well. The judge in the case may order genetic testing which is done using a swab. If there is a genetic link, the judge will issue a paternity order. The father is responsible for paying for the genetic testing if the test shows that he is the father.
Why Establish Paternity?
Establish paternity is important for a number of reasons, including:
- Having the father named on the child’s birth certificate
- The child is able to qualify for benefits through the father
- Custody arrangements can be made
- Child support can be established
- The child can build a relationship with the father and his family
- The child can access the father’s medical history
We’re Here to Help
At The Law Office of Rhonda Telford Naidu, we know how important it is to accurately establish paternity. We’re happy to handle your case in its entirety or just handle certain legal aspects of your situation. This is called limited scope or unbundled representation.
If you’re dealing with paternity, it’s vital to get sound legal advice. We can help you find an approach that works, often without ever entering a courtroom. If paternity is established, we can help you pursue child support. Contact us today at 405-792-2400.