Child Custody and Father’s Rights: What You Need to Know

Child Custody and Father’s Rights: What You Need to Know

As a parent, you have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to your children. It is a common misconception that mothers somehow have more rights than fathers when it comes to child custody, either for unwed complies or in a divorce.

Father’s Rights for Child Custody in Oklahoma

The court will determine what is in the “best interests of the child” to determine custody and visitation. This standard reviews the entire situation between the parents to decide which parent will be a better option when it comes to physical and legal custody. It focuses on the child’s physical, mental, and moral well-being.

Mothers do not get special treatment when it comes to child custody. The starting point is that it is always in the child’s best interest to be with both parents. That means that the default is a shared custody arrangement. However, many factors affect custody decisions, including:

  • The wishes of each parent (and sometimes the child, depending on the child’s age)
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • Any history of abuse or neglect
  • The parent’s ability to provide for the child
  • The mental and physical health of everyone involved
  • The parent’s ability to spend time with the child

A father has the same rights to request sole custody as the mother would if there is some reason that the mother should only have a limited role in the child’s life (or no role at all).

Paternity Laws in Oklahoma

If you are an unwed parent, you may need to establish that you are the child’s father before you can get child custody. This process requires the mother to either agree that you are the father, or you may need to get a DNA test (or paternity test) to establish that you are the father.

While this process is generally straightforward, it is one more hurdle that you need to address before you can get child custody if you and the mother are not married.

Owens Law Office can help fathers present the best case possible to establish paternity and help get child custody. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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