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Paternity Lawyer in Oklahoma

Both parents of a child have the right to build a relationship with the child unless circumstances are such that those parental rights are terminated. This right is not automatic with unwed Fathers. An unwed Father can only enforce his rights through a court order, even when the Father's name is on the birth certificate.

I represent both Mothers and Fathers when paternity is questioned, child support issues, and custody/visitation needs to be established. With experience and knowledge to handle delicate paternity cases that render results as smoothly as possible. 

Establishing and Contesting Paternity in Oklahoma?

You might assume that the ability to determine paternity by a simple cheek swab has simplified the process of paternity and eliminated most cases where paternity is contested. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and paternity establishment can still be quite complicated.

Urban Legends

  • If the Father's name is on the birth certificate, he has the same rights as the Mother.
  • If the other parent will not let me see my child, I can call the police.  They will make her let me see my child.
  • If I don't see my child, I don't have to pay child support.
  • Father's are not important in the child's life until the child is older.
  • My child is so young, he/she won't notice if I'm not there.
  • The Court always sides with the Mother.
  • I am married to a woman who gave birth, but I am not the biological father.  I have no responsibility for that child.
  • She told me that I was not the Father, I don't have to pay child support.


  • In Tulsa County, the Court starts with the proposition that both parents are equal, once paternity is established.  That of course, depends upon whether Father has a relationship with the child.
  • If the Mother is not allowing visits with your child, you still have to pay child support, that child still needs to eat.
  • An unwed Father has no rights except to pay child support until there is a Court order.  The Father may be able to obtain records and information about their child, that is about it.
  • The police will not intervene if the Mother will not let you see your child.  Custody and visitation are civil matters, they cannot get involved unless there is a threat of danger.
  • Children have to bond with a parent.  The studies show that an infant needs frequent contact with both parents – it is not the length of the visit, it is the frequency.  Developing brains have the memory and attention span of a gnat.
  • The Court does not always side with the Mother.  I represent Father's who have either full custody or joint custody.  Sometimes Fathers and Mothers need some help to get there such as parent classes.
  • If the wife gets pregnant or gives birth, even if the husband is not the biological father, the husband is presumed to be the Father.  There are things that the non-biologial presumed parent can do, however, he MUST contact an attorney immediately, otherwise, the non-biological Father is the legal Father.

Uncontested Establishment of Paternity

When a child is born to two people that are married to one another, the parties are considered to be the legal parents of the child. 

Contested Establishment of Paternity

How paternity is established when it is contested depends upon the particular circumstances of the situation. If the Mother denies paternity, then a test is required. The test must be administered through Court order or the Department of Human Servies to be recognized -- a drug store test will not suffice.  

A Father can also sign an acknowledgement of paternity.  However, if the Mother is married to someone else, things get more complicated, even if the Mother does not deny the biological Father.

Title IV-D Agencies

Title IV Section D of the Social Security Act is commonly known as the Child Support Enforcement Program. All states are required to have a program that adheres to the terms of this act, which not only handles the establishment and enforcement of child support but also the establishment of paternity (in some cases). This is a resource available to parties that want to establish paternity. The establishment of paternity still does not give the Father any custodial or visitation rights.

Putative Father Registry

If a man believes it is possible he has fathered a child, Oklahoma has a putative father registry where he can indicate his intention to claim paternity. This will provide the father with certain rights, such as notification of any court proceedings that involve the child, actions to terminate parental rights, and petitions for adoption. 

Effect of Paternity Determination in Oklahoma

After paternity has been established by a court, it is no simple matter to have that decision reversed in most jurisdictions. It is a matter that will need to be heard by a judge. However, establishing paternity is important for many reasons. Without it, the Father has no legal rights to the child, such as a right to custody, visitation, or decision-making about the child's upbringing. 

Further, with paternity established, the Mother can exercise relevant legal rights, like:

  • Petition for child support, where the state requires the legal establishment of paternity and also ensures that fathers share the burden of supporting their children
  • Apply for state support, where programs require the establishment of paternity before mothers can apply for benefits like food, housing, and healthcare
  • Obtain insurance, where the insurer requires legal paternity to list a child on a policy

What's more, with paternity established, the child benefits by being able to build relationships with both parents.

Contact a Paternity Lawyer in Oklahoma Today

Establish paternity today. Whether you are the alleged Father or the Mother, making sure paternity is established offers many benefits as much as it provides clarity. Contact our office today either by using our online form or calling us directly at 918-587-8800.

918 Lawyer | Law Office of Laurie Phillips Is Here for You

At 918 Lawyer | Law Office of Laurie Phillips, I focus on family law and I am here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system.

Contact Me Today

918 Lawyer | Law Office of Laurie Phillips is committed to answering your questions about family law issues in Oklahoma. I offer a free consultation and I'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact me today to schedule an appointment.