What Are Parental Rights?
When you are going through a divorce, establishing parental rights is vital for child custody and visitation. Failing to prove you have parental rights could mean being denied both of these. Paternity is the key to doing this and requires a few simple steps. However, if you encounter any problems along the way, try consulting with an Oklahoma City divorce attorney about your situation.
Types of Parental Rights
When you are an established parent of your child, you should have certain parental rights. These parental rights will allow you certain options in court when going through your divorce. Without parental rights, you could be denied certain choices in the divorce like child custody and visitation.
Parental rights not only give you the option to pursue child custody and visitation, but they also provide you with decisions regarding your child. As long as your child is a minor, you can make decisions as a parent regarding your child’s:
- Medical care
- Legal decisions
Having parental rights means you have the responsibility to care for the physical and mental well-being of your child. This means you must be able to provide safety and basic needs for your child. Basic needs mean shelter, clothes, food, and similar life essentials.
How to Establish Your Parental Rights
When you do not have parental rights, do not panic. The Oklahoma family courts already have a solution for this called paternity. You must follow steps for establishing paternity to gain rights over your child.
One of the fastest ways to establish paternity is to fill out an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. This form should be sent to the Division of Vital Records. However, this only works if the biological mother agrees that you are the father and signs the form too. If the mother says you are not the father, then you will have to prove your paternity as the biological father.
You can do this with a simple DNA test that involves a swab. The state of Oklahoma covers the cost of a genetic test initially. If the father is shown to be the biological father, then the father will have to pay for the genetic test. Fathers who are shown to not be the true father will not have to pay.
A genetic test is also recommended and sometimes mandated by judges when both parents are unsure of who the real father is. Some judges will court order the father to take a genetic test. Consider contacting an Oklahoma City divorce lawyer if you have any questions about this.
Parental rights can also be taken away. All it takes is the right form and signature. Consult with a lawyer if you have any concerns.
Divorce Attorney in Oklahoma City
Having your parental rights denied or removed can be disheartening. Feel free to ask an Oklahoma family lawyer about how you can defend your parental rights. You can call the Putnam Law Office by dialing (405)-849-9149 for a consultation today. We are prepared to help you defend your case. Mr. Putnam is an experienced lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK who can help you work towards the divorce outcomes you desire.