The laws concerning disestablishing paternity in the state of Oklahoma are in-depth and somewhat confusing. It makes sense that the responsibilities of parents and the welfare of children be taken seriously in court. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where disestablishment of paternity is impending, you might be able to benefit from this breakdown of Oklahoma laws.
How is Paternity Established?
Establishing paternity is an official declaration of a child’s legal father in the eyes of the court whether or not there has been DNA testing done. At times this might require the father to pay child support if he is not living with or married to the mother.
Paternity is established in one of the following ways:
- If the father is married to the child’s mother at the time of birth, it is called “presumption of paternity.” No further steps are taken to establish parental rights.
- The district court can determine who fathered the child. Either parent can request DNA testing at this time.
- Paternity can be acknowledged when both parents sign a form called “Acknowledgment of Paternity.” Itis usually signed at the tie of the child’s birth.
- Legal adoption. If a child’s biological parents give up their parental rights by neglecting or abusing a child, adoptive parents may pursue adoption. Once the court has awarded adoption to the parents, they have the same legal rights and responsibilities as birth parents do.
When Might Disestablishment Be Pursued?
If following the establishment of paternity, a man finds out that he is not the biological father as he had once believed, he may wish to disestablish paternity and thus avoid paying child support. At times the previously unknown information may be presented by the mother or the true biological father, causing the legal parent to reevaluate his role in the child’s life.
What Steps Are Necessary to Disestablish Paternity in Oklahoma?
To disestablish paternity, the legal parents of the child must go to court and challenge the paternity. Any party, including the mother, the established father, or a man claiming to be the biological father, may challenge the paternity. Even the child can challenge paternity through an attorney.
Suppose a man was presumed to be the biological father at the time of birth because of being married to the child’s mother or signing the acknowledgment form. In that case, he has two years to go to court to disestablish paternity. If the established father signed an acknowledgment form, he must prove that fraud, duress, or a material mistake of fact was involved in the signing.
At the time of the birth, if a husband knows he is not the father of his wife’s child, he can sign a form that denies paternity. For that form to be effective, both the mother and the biological father must sign an “Acknowledgement of Paternity.” These forms must be completed before the child’s second birthday.
Still Have Questions?
Understanding the ins and outs of paternity establishment is stressful and overwhelming. If you have further questions or are looking for legal advice on how to handle a disestablishment case, don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys at Reddy & Feldhake. We promise to help you out every step of the way at an affordable price.