How to Establish Parentage in a Divorce
Establishing parentage in an Oklahoma divorce is a vital step if you want certain rights as a parent. However, the ultimate determination of parentage will come from the judge. This means you want the evidence required to prove paternity. Without the right evidence or documents, some of your parental rights could be revoked after the divorce. Talk to an Oklahoma family lawyer if you have any concerns about this.
How Oklahoma Courts Establish Paternity
Part of establishing parentage is establishing paternity. When it comes to Oklahoma paternity laws, you will need to have a genetic test done to confirm you or your spouse are the biological parents of the child. This is usually requested by the court. However, family courts have the ability to grant child custody to the father if this matches the best interests of the child.
This can change later on if evidence from a genetic test or other source reveals the father is not the biological parent. The other parent might dispute this in court and gain custody of the child. Since custody of the child rests on the best interests of the child standard, other factors can influence who receives custody:
- Past abuse of the child
- History of neglecting the child
- Drug or alcohol problems
- The ability of the parent to care for the child
Even if a parent proves paternity, the court will still need to go by the best interests of the child to make the final decision on child custody. In some cases, the best interest might be to place the child with the non-biological parent. Grandparents might be assigned custody if both parents are deemed unsuitable to raise the child.
Why is Parentage So Important?
Parentage is vital if you want certain outcomes of the divorce to go in your favor. What establishing parentage does is allow you to fight for things like:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Visitation rights
Without establishing parentage, you may lose access to all of these parental rights. You could also lose rights to making decisions for your child related to:
- Family medical record access
- Making medical decisions for your child
- Where to take your child to school
- Legal decisions for your child
If your child was born outside marriage, you can still try to establish parentage. Part of this might involve collecting as much information as you can about other sexual partners around when your child was born. Information about your spouse may also be needed. Consider contacting an Oklahoma City divorce lawyer if you have any questions or concerns about this process. One of our lawyers can help you collect the evidence you need to establish your parentage.
Family Attorney in Oklahoma City
Establishing parentage may not always be as easy as people think. Do not hesitate to ask an Oklahoma divorce lawyer what your legal options are. You can contact the Putnam Law Office by dialing (405)-849-9149 for a consultation today. Our experienced team of attorneys might be able to help you achieve the divorce outcomes you want. Mr. Putnam is a dedicated lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK who can help you defend your claim.