Determinations of Child Paternity in Oklahoma:
What happens when a married couple separates, without getting a divorce, and the wife has child with another man? What happens if a couple has a child, but the husband finds out later that the child isn’t his? In these and similar situations, there is a presumption that the husband is the father. Under Oklahoma Law and the Uniform Parentage Act, a man is presumed to be the father of the child when:
- He and the mother of the child are married to each other and the child is born during the marriage;
- He and the mother of the child were married to each other and the child is born within three hundred (300) days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, dissolution of marriage or after decree of separation;
- Before the birth of the child, he and the mother of the child married each other in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or within three hundred (300) days after its termination by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, a decree of separation, or dissolution of marriage;
- After the birth of the child, he and the mother of the child married each other in apparent compliance with law, whether or not the marriage is or could be declared invalid, and he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:
- the assertion is in a record with the State Department of Health, Division of Vital Records or the Department of Human Services,
- he agreed to be and is named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate, or
- he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or
- For the first two (2) years of the child’s life, he resided in the same household with the child and openly held out the child as his own.
It is important to realize that this is only a presumption; however, such a presumption is easier to overcome if proceedings to adjudicate the real father are started before the child reaches the age of two (2).
The court not only looks at the above listed presumptions, but will may also require the parties to for DNA testing. Still, even if the DNA results are negative, the court may still decide that it is in the best interest of the minor child, for the presumption of paternity to remain in place.