Tulsa Paternity Attorney

Paternity issues typically arise when a child’s mother seeks support for her child(ren) and the alleged father of the child denies that he is in fact the father.

The court's jurisdiction to decide paternity action cases is founded on the assumption that the defendant/alleged father had sexual relations with the mother in the jurisdiction in which the action is based.

Service of a complaint on the alleged father falls under the typical/usual rules of civil procedure, in that the father must be properly served and given notice in order to be required to appear in-person. A paternity action in Oklahoma is usually pursued by: the legal guardian of the child, the natural mother, the estate or legal representative of the mother, the alleged father, the estate or legal representative of the alleged father, or the county social services/child protection agency.

There are several situations in which a man could and would be presumed to be the father of a child in an Oklahoma paternity action. The following six events are generally used to make this presumption, and if even one of them is met, that presumption will generally stand:

1. The alleged father and the biological mother were legally married and the child was born during the marriage, or within 300 days of the dissolution of the marriage.
2. If the alleged father and mother made an attempt to marry each other, but somehow their union did not comply with applicable laws.
3. Subsequent to the birth of the child, the alleged father and the mother have attempted to marry, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the alleged father has made some tangible step (entering his name on the birth certificate) to signify his acknowledgment that he is the father.
4. Before the child reaches the statutory age of majority, the man allows the child into his home and openly holds himself out as the father.
5. If the alleged father has provided financial support for the child before he or she reaches the age of majority.
6. The alleged father acknowledges his paternity of the child in any writing filed with the local registrar of vital statistics.

When is the presumption of paternity rebutted?

The statute may be rebutted in a paternity action in Oklahoma only if the alleged father meets the legal burden for doing so. Specifically, the alleged father must show by "clear and convincing evidence such that there exists” that leads to a court order terminating the presumed father's paternal rights or by establishing that another man is the child's biological or adoptive father.

Contested Paternity Actions

A contested paternity action is usually initiated for the purpose of obtaining payments for child support from the alleged father, but it can also include a request for visitation rights. When a paternity action names the alleged father as the defendant, the father can either consent to the paternity record or contest it by claiming that he is not the father. Many times, this refusal to acknowledge such status is adjudicated by way of a DNA test. When a paternity action names the mother as the defendant, her choices are in effect no different.

Non-Contested Paternity Actions

There are fathers, alleged or otherwise, out there who desire the legal status that comes with being recorded as the father. The reasons for this include the desire to maintain some sort of relationship with the child. If this is the case, the court will simply enter the order of paternity if there is no protest from the mother.

If you are in need of a legal opinion from a Tulsa Paternity Attorney, feel free to contact Ms. Schmook for a free consultation.