From Birth Certificates to Court Orders
Video Transcribed: Hi, Pete Knowles, Oklahoma lawyer. A common question that we receive from parents who have children together that were born out of wedlock is what are my rights and responsibilities?
Particularly as to the father, when there is no custody and visitation order from the court yet. And in Oklahoma, a mother of a child born out of wedlock has de facto sole legal custody, meaning that they have all the right and responsibility for the child to make determinations and decisions as to what’s in the child’s best interest. Where this can become a problem is if a father is involved with the child and is on the birth certificate, they would assert sometimes a right to have certain visitation or even primary custody of the child.
Typically, when those disputes arise, if the father’s on the birth certificate, especially law enforcement will be reluctant to get involved in that situation. They’ll consider it a civil matter. And so for these reasons, it can be necessary to go to court to get a custody and visitation order from the judge, so it’s set out in black and white where the child is going to be and what the rights and responsibilities of the parties are.
It’s important to find an attorney that is very familiar with practices in family law, familiar with the county that you’re in, and to disclose to them all of the information and history of the parties and be sure to follow their advice. If you need a Bartlesville child custody attorney or would like more information, contact me at bartlesvilleattorney.com.