Every child deserves a loving home in which they are cared for by both parents. Sometimes, parents live together; sometimes, they live apart. Regardless of the situation, parents have a moral, ethical, and legal duty to care for and provide support for their children. When paternity is not clear, it must be legally established. This is when a Cherokee County paternity attorney can help.
Establishing Paternity: A Step Toward Obtaining Child Support
Paternity and child support are legally different, but they are related concepts. If a child is yours, you are legally bound to support the child. If a child is not yours, you have no legal obligation to support the child absent other circumstances. Thus, establishing paternity is critical to collecting child support.
Establishing Paternity Is Needed To Establish Visitation and Custody
The other way paternity issues arise is when a father seeks to establish custody or visitation rights. Let’s say the father and mother are no longer a couple. The father wants to see his son. However, the biological mother says he is not the father and denies him the right to visit.
Presumption Of Paternity
Not all parents are married at the time of a child’s birth. But for those parents who are, Oklahoma law provides an advantage regarding paternity.
When a couple is married and the wife has a child, there is a legal presumption that the child is the husband’s child. That makes paternity clear at birth.
Parents who are unmarried do not have the advantage of this presumption. That means an unmarried couple must take additional steps to ensure paternity is clear when their child is born.
This can be done by a form called an acknowledgment of paternity. If both parents agree, then it is simple to fill out the form and sign it. Both parents need to sign.
But what happens if the biological mother denies paternity?
Luckily, there are other ways to establish paternity. This is another time when a Cherokee County paternity attorney can step in to help. If you and your partner are expecting a child and want to know how to deal with the issue of paternity now and in the future, a Tahlequah attorney can advise you. How you deal with the issue now affects the issue later.
Paternity Attorney: Getting A Paternity Order
When paternity is contested by either the father or the mother, usually, a court must intervene. Either parent can file a petition for custody in an Oklahoma court. The petition is then served on the other parent.
Once the case is opened, the issue of paternity can be litigated. In all likelihood, the court will order the parent contesting paternity to take a DNA test. DNA tests are non-intrusive and are usually done by taking a mucosal sample with a swab from the inside of the mouth.
A Cherokee County paternity attorney can help advise you regarding this court proceeding and whether it can meet your needs. Your attorney can also prepare the petition and all the evidence you will need at the hearing.
Establishing paternity can be an important step in a relationship with a child. Get the help you need today.
Free Consultation: Cherokee County Paternity Attorney
For a free consultation with a Tahlequah attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah at 918-458-2677 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262.
Or, if you prefer e-mail, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page and we’ll contact you by e-mail as soon as possible.