Dad Has No Rights Until He Establishes Them in Court
Video Transcribed: Who has more rights to a child in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa attorney, James Wirth, and I’m answering frequently asked questions. That’s the question we have, who has more rights to a child?
Well, it depends. If there’s a court order in place, then it’s obviously going to be decided by that court order. If there is no court order in place, then you’re going to look at, are the parents married or not married? If it’s a child born outside of a marriage, mom has all the rights. Dad has no rights until he establishes them in court.
If the parties are married and there’s no order in place, the parties are on equal footing. Neither party has superior rights. The Oklahoma statute says that. The mother doesn’t automatically have more rights than dad. They start off on equal footing until they get into the court, and the court determines that.
In relation to everybody else, the parents have the rights. Other people are not on equal footing. They’re way behind because parents, under Oklahoma law and under US Constitution, they’ve got a constitutional right to the care and comfort of their kids. If a third party is going to try to come in and take custody away from the parents, it’s going to take a much higher standard than what’s in the best interest. It’s going to have to show that the parents are unfit or something like that.
If it’s between the parents and someone else, the parents have the higher standing. If it’s between the parents themselves, if the parents are not married, mom’s got the standing and has the rights. If the parents are married, neither one has superior rights. Under all circumstances, get into court, get a specific order that lays out everybody’s rights, and then it’s enforceable.
If that doesn’t answer your question, talk to an attorney about your specifics. That’s always the better route to go anyway, because there’s always unique scenarios in anybody’s case. To talk to If you want to talk to a Tulsa Family Law Attorney in my office you go to makelaweasy.com.