As a parent, your child’s well being is of your utmost priority. Especially in their early years, you want to ensure that they are given the best life possible. If you are unmarried, you may need to obtain a decree of paternity in order to do so.
What is a Paternity Decree
A decree of paternity is a legal recognition process that a man or woman can initiate to identify the father of a specific child (if the couple is not married). This decree is often used to institute custody orders, establish child support agreements, and define parentage of a child.
Obtaining a Decree of Paternity
If both the mother and father acknowledge that they are the rightful parents of a child, the process is relatively simple.
You can usually obtain a paternity form from your local social security office, hospital, or maternity ward. After both parties involved have signed the formal acknowledgments admitting that the man is the father, the form must be filed with a state agency that handles the issuing of birth certificates. After this document is approved and registered, a new or updated birth certificate will be issued for the child.
While it is uncommon, this mutual acknowledgment process can be challenged or even rejected if dishonesty is suspected as to whom the true father of the child is. In this case, a paternity test may be ordered by the courts in order to prove that the man really is the father.
When One Parent Refuses to Acknowledge Paternity
When either a man or a woman refuses to cooperate and admit who the father of the child truly is, the process of obtaining a paternity decree becomes much more complicated.
In some cases, if the mother has custody of a child, the father may deny his paternity in an effort to avoid paying child support. On the other hand, the mother of the child may refuse to admit that a man is a father in order to deny him custody or visitation rights.
In either case, this is an excellent time to get an attorney involved. Once the case is presented to the court, again, a paternity test will be ordered to obtain DNA evidence proving that the man involved is the father.
After paternity has been verified and legally recognized, further action can be taken concerning custody, visitation, and or child support.
Get in Touch with Us
Issues that require legal action can be stressful, especially when your child is involved. At Reddy and Feldhake P.C., we are eager and willing to walk you through every step in obtaining a decree of paternity in order to help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes along with the process. As experienced attornies, we are dedicated to providing honest and personal legal service to the Tulsa Oklahoma area. If you have any questions regarding paternity claims, custody, or visitation rights, please don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation today.