Non-Marital Paternity

With more and more individuals choosing non-traditional lifestyles, there are new legal challenges that arise daily. In Oklahoma, judicial paternity must be established if a child is born in a non-marital relationship or if a child is born within a marriage, but is the child of another man outside of the marriage.

Judicial Establishment of Paternity in Oklahoma

A district court must determine that an unwed father is the natural father in the state of Oklahoma. When a child is born in a marital relationship, the child is presumed under law to be the natural child of both of the married people unless there is cause to believe otherwise. In addition, when a child is born in a non-marital relationship, paternity is not presumed under the law. For males who have been ordered by DHS to provide child support, or even if the male has signed the newborn's birth certificate, the district court where the child resides must judicially determine paternity. Custody and visitation of children born in non-marital arrangements cannot be determined otherwise.

Once paternity is established in a non-marital family, the court can proceed with the determination of custody just as if the child had been born into a marriage. The statutes in Oklahoma presume that each parent will receive shared custody as long as it is in the best interest of the child. If a parent is seeking sole custody, that parent has the burden of proof to show the court why it is better for the child if the other parent does not share custody.

Smalley Law Firm Family Law Experts

No matter what your circumstances are, if you need to establish paternity for a child born into a non-marital relationship, you need to contact the expert family lawyers at Smalley Law Firm. We understand the complexities of relationships, and we want to help you and your children.