Paternity – Once It’s Established, What Are a Dad’s Rights?

Before paternity is established, the man has no parental rights. He can not force the mother to let him visit with the child, and, in fact he can be arrested if he takes the child without the mother’s permission.


Once the court has ruled that a man is a child’s father, he has the same rights as the mother. He will be given parenting time, or visitation if he wants it, But of course a father still gets his rights by using fathers parental rights in Oklahoma help so this can be obtained. He can even ask for custody if he feels the child would be better off living with him. Unfortunately, if the mother waits long enough to inform the man that he is the child’s father, he is less likely to convince the court that it would be in the child’s best interest to change homes.


One of the parents will also have to pay child support. This payment is based on the parties’ income and ability to earn. Each state has rules that the courts are supposed to follow in deciding how much support should be. In some states, the courts assign a percentage of the paying parent’s income. In others, there is a child support chart that determines what the payment should be.


The child support can be adjusted from the amount called for under the state’s law. If the child is disabled and needs special care, the child support may be higher to help pay for it. If the child is attending private school, the supporting parent may have to contribute to the extra education expenses. If the child needs counseling, the supporting parent may have to help pay. If the child is young, the supporting parent may have to contribute to work related child care expenses.


Child support expenses can be lowered if the supporting parent pays for medical coverage for the child through employment or other means. If he / she exercises more than the normal parenting time or visitation, he / she may be expected to pay less. Finally, the supporting parent can be awarded tax dependency exemptions to help defray his / her costs.


The prosecutor’s office has authority in paternity cases, even though it is not considered to be a criminal matter. The prosecutor’s office can file the petition to establish paternity on behalf of either parent. His / her office can also go after either parent to establish and collect child support. If the supporting parent is behind in his / her payments, the prosecutor can “intercept” or take any tax refund that may have been due. When this happens, the new spouse of the supporting parent can file a petition with the IRS to have his / her share of the refund returned to him / her.


Finally, child support may not be the only financial issues when paternity is established. Birthing expenses can be assessed against both parents. In addition, the father can be compelled to contribute to any public aid the mother may have already gotten. The mother’s application for welfare is often the first notice a man receives that he may have fathered a child.