Child Custody, Support, and Establishing Paternity
When parents are divorcing, often the most important issue is child custody. Oklahoma courts use the “best interests of the child” standard to decide child custody and visitation issues. As this standard varies from child to child, it is important you seek an opinion from a qualified Tulsa child custody attorney regarding your specific case. Child custody refers to all parental rights in the rearing of the child, including the right to direct a child’s activities and to make decisions for their well-being. Visitation or time-sharing is a form of custody. In Oklahoma, fathers and mothers have the same legal rights to seek custody of or visitation with their minor children. It is Oklahoma’s public policy that: (1) each child has frequent contact with both parents, and (2) parents are encouraged to share the rights, responsibilities, and joys of child rearing.
When deciding child custody issues, the court may consider the following:
- Which parent is more likely to allow frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent .
- No preference based on gender of the parent.
- The court may provide for the visitation of the noncustodial parent unless it is not in the best interest of the child.
Our attorneys are familiar with Tulsa child custody issues, and can assist you with all aspects relating to custody. To schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys, call our office at (918) 216-9644 for a consultation.
Oklahoma courts are independently required to ensure that appropriate child support obligations are set in all family law cases involving children. This is because the state takes the position that parents should support their children, so that state taxpayers are not called upon to do so. This can be complicated and a knowledgeable child support attorney is essential to the process.
Calculating Child Support
Support obligations are set according to a statutory formula. Support obligations are determined based on the monthly gross incomes of the parties. The amount shown in the guidelines is presumed to be correct, unless it is shown to be unjust, unreasonable, inappropriate, or inequitable. If you have questions regarding child support, or modifications to child support order in Tulsa County, please feel free to contact our office at (918) 216-9644 for a consultation with one of our experienced Tulsa child support attorneys.
Paternity issues typically arise when a child’s mother seeks support for her child(ren) and the alleged father of the child denies that he is in fact the father.
A paternity action in Oklahoma is usually pursued by: the legal guardian of the child, the natural mother, the estate or legal representative of the mother, the alleged father, the estate or legal representative of the alleged father, or the county social services/child protection agency.
There are several situations in which a man could and would be presumed to be the father of a child in an Oklahoma paternity action. The following six events are generally used to make this presumption, and if even one of them is met, that presumption will generally stand:
- The alleged father and the biological mother were legally married and the child was born during the marriage, or within 300 days of the dissolution of the marriage.
- If the alleged father and mother made an attempt to marry each other, but somehow their union did not comply with applicable laws.
- Subsequent to the birth of the child, the alleged father and the mother have attempted to marry, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the alleged father has made some tangible step (entering his name on the birth certificate) to signify his acknowledgment that he is the father.
- Before the child reaches the statutory age of majority, the man allows the child into his home and openly holds himself out as the father.
- If the alleged father has provided financial support for the child before he or she reaches the age of majority.
- The alleged father acknowledges his paternity of the child in any writing filed with the local registrar of vital statistics.
When is the presumption of paternity rebutted?
The statute may be rebutted in a paternity action in Oklahoma only if the alleged father meets the legal burden for doing so. Specifically, the alleged father must show by “clear and convincing evidence such that there exists” that directs the court to issue an order terminating the presumed father’s paternal rights or by establishing that another man is the child’s biological or adoptive father.
Our Tulsa paternity attorneys are dedicated to providing compassionate and aggressive representation. Regardless your individual position in the paternity action, our family lawyers can provide you with an honest opinion regarding your case.