Establishing Paternity in Oklahoma
By Oklahoma law, a Mother is presumed to have Sole Custody of the child if not married to the Father. To establish a Child Support order without filing a Paternity action in the District Court, a case can be opened with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Services. There is an online calculator available so you can determine what the monthly Child Support amount should be according to the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines. Oklahoma DHS Child Support Services can establish Paternity through DNA testing for purposes of Child Support, but it does not determine Custody or Visitation. If there is a pending Child Welfare Case, DHS Child Protective Services does determine Custody and Visitation.
Filing a Paternity Action: To establish legal rights to the child(ren) including Custody and Visitation (if you were not married) you will need to file a Paternity action in the District Court of the county where your child resides. This action must be filed to establish Custody and Visitation, even if the Father's name is listed on the child's birth certificate and the Father has filed an Acknowledgement of Paternity. At the first hearing, the Court will normally set a visitation schedule and establish temporary custody until either a final hearing is held, or a final agreed order is entered. Oklahoma DHS publishes a Paternity Handbook that provides additional information about establishing Paternity.