Do you live in the state of Georgia and need support regarding the legitimation of parental rights? Establishing paternity in Georgia is a simple process when you know the facts. Let’s break down how to establish paternity with Atlanta’s top family and divorce lawyer.
Georgia Paternity Laws
- Paternity is the legal acknowledgement of being the biological father to a child.
- All legal rights and custody of a child goes to the birth mother before paternity is established.
- Unmarried parents have to go through the process of legitimation. Legitimation is the legal relationship between a mother or father and a child but does not guarantee the father legal rights.
- If the parents of a child born are not married, the father’s rights cannot be recognized until legitimation is completed. Therefore, paternity is rarely a problem when a married couple has a child or children.
- Biological fathers are the only people who can file for legitimation (legalization rights) of a child, such as for custody and visitation rights. Legitimation is also crucial for putting a father’s name on a child’s birth certificate and other records.
- A father must file for legitimation in the county the legal mother lives in.
- Genetic testing, also known as a paternity test, is necessary before moving forward with legitimization for child custody.
Paternity Acknowledgement Georgia
Paternity establishment can be filed in a few ways. Review the different choices below and decide which is best for you and your child.
Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Form
Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is legal documentation that parents agree the legal father is also the child’s biological father. If this form isn’t signed by both parents at the hospital when a child is born, only the mother’s name will appear on the birth certificate.
Another option is for it to be signed at the Vital Records Office of the county the child was born in. Of course, it must be signed in front of a notary public with personal ID present for both parents. Then, this form is filed to the Putative Father Registry.
Is there a chance that someone will adopt the child? Putative Father Registry is crucial here because a biological father will be notified when someone intends to adopt the child.
File a Paternity Action with the Court
Also known as an involuntary determination, this is a family court order that legally states someone is the biological and legal father of a child/children. A court ordered paternity action is done when the biological father does not sign a paternity acknowledgement form at the hospital. It can be filed by the mother or father. A government official, usually from DCSS (Division of Child Support Services), can also file for you.
Whichever way paternity is established, there are crucial things to note.
- It creates a legal obligation for both parents to be responsible for health insurance and financial support of a child.
- Custody or visitation rights are not legally established by this action. (For custody and visitation, a father MUST sign the legitimation section on the form.)
Paternity Establishment Support
Any child under 18 is permitted to receive full financial support, which goes beyond medical expenses. Legitimation also offers extra security. Children can qualify for benefits and services of their legal mother and father, inherit property, get access to medical history, and more.
Every child deserves to have a legal father on record. Fight for the rights of you and your child. Count on Daniele Johnson & Associates, Atlanta’s premier family law firm, for help and legal counsel on establishing paternity in Georgia. She has helped many fathers be a part of their child’s lives. Read customer testimonials to see why she’s the best in the Atlanta area.
Contact Daniele Johnson & Associates now to get started today.