Legitimation and Paternity Lawyers in Atlanta Establishing Paternity in the Legitimation Process
When it comes to family law, many different processes can be undertaken to resolve various disputes or issues. One such process is legitimation, which is the legal act of establishing a father-child relationship. If you are seeking to establish paternity in the legitimation process, it is important to work with an experienced and qualified Atlanta paternity lawyer who can guide you through the process and help ensure a successful outcome.
There are several reasons why legitimation and paternity are important. First, legitimation establishes the legal father-child relationship, which can provide a host of benefits for the child, such as inheritance rights, access to medical information, and social security benefits. Additionally, legitimation can be important for the father as well. Establishing paternity can give fathers access to their children and provide fathers with the opportunity to pursue custody or visitation rights.
At Atlanta Family Law Group LLC, we have years of experience helping families with all sorts of legal matters. We understand how important it is for both parents and children to have their paternity legally established, and we are committed to helping our clients achieve their goals in a timely and efficient manner. Contact us today at 404-738-5805 to learn more about our services and how we can help you get started on the path to legitimation.
What are Legitimation and Paternity?
In the state of Georgia, all children who are born during a marriage are legally presumed to be children of both the husband and the wife. This automatically grants both parties all the rights and responsibilities of being a parent.
If, however, a child is born outside of wedlock, the paternity of the child is not assumed. The father must first establish legal paternity before they can fight for any other rights, such as parenting time. In addition, the mother would need to establish the legal paternity of the father before she can seek child support.
When it becomes necessary to determine paternity, Georgia courts will hold a hearing. If necessary, the court can order a DNA test to determine whether a man is the biological father of the child or children in question. This, however, is not always necessary. If both the mother and the father agree that the child is the father’s, the process can be completed by signing the proper legal documents.
Whether you are a mother looking to prove who the father is or you are the father wanting to gain legal rights to your children, we are here to help. Paternity cases (also called legitimation cases) don’t have to be overly complicated, but they do need to be handled with special care. Our experience in this area can help to avoid potential delays or other issues that can cause problems. Contact us to talk about your options and get the process started for establishing the paternity of a child or children.
Who Does Legitimation Help?
Legitimation can be beneficial for all parties involved in custody and support matters. This is because the mother, father, and child all have a significant amount to gain or lose when legitimation is not established. Here’s how each party may benefit:
- The Father: The father can benefit from legitimation when it comes to the custody of a child. It also gives the father the right to be listed on the child’s birth certificate. However, if the father can go beyond acknowledgment of paternity, the father can fight for custody. Georgia courts have also found that it is in the child’s best interest to share the last name of a legitimate dad.
- The Mother: The mother may benefit from legitimation, most often in matters involving support. When the father tries to deny paternity, the mother can use paternity to enforce support orders through the court.
- The Child: The child may inherit from his or her paternal father through legitimation. They also may have access to the father’s family medical history to determine any health concerns in the future.
Legitimation and paternity may require a court order when one parent or the other tries to deny that the father is the father. In this situation, the court may order a DNA test. However, if both parties can agree that the father is who he says he is, the process may move forward without the need for additional proceedings.
There are two ways to legitimate a child in the state of Georgia:
- Voluntary Acknowledgment: The simplest way to legitimate a child is to have both parents sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form. This form can be obtained from the child’s birth hospital, the Georgia Division of Public Health, certain WIC clinics, or the Vital Records office. Once this form is signed and notarized, it is sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, where it becomes a legal document.
This method is beneficial because it does not require any involvement from the courts. It also does not require a DNA test, which can be costly.
- Court Order: A court order can be obtained in one of two ways. The first is to file a legitimation action with the Superior Court in the county where the child resides. This option is beneficial because it establishes paternity and gives the father all the legal rights that come with being the father. The second way to obtain a court order is to include paternity establishment as part of another action, such as a divorce or child support action.
This method may be necessary if there is already an ongoing case in court or if the parents are not in agreement about who the father is. In this situation, the court will likely order a DNA test to determine paternity.
Whether you are the mother or father of a child, you have the right to know who the father is. You also have the right to seek support from the father if he is not already providing it. If you are a father, you have the right to be involved in your child’s life and to be listed on the birth certificate.
If you need help establishing paternity or legitimation, we can help. We have experience handling these types of cases and can advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
What Problems Can Arise When Establishing Paternity?
There are a few potential problems that can arise when trying to establish a child’s biological father. First, if the father is not listed on the birth certificate, he may have a harder time proving that he is the child’s father.
Second, if the parents were never married, the mother may try to deny paternity to get child support from the father. Third, if the father was not present during the child’s birth, he may have a harder time proving that he is the child’s father.
Fourth, if the child was conceived through artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization, the father may have a harder time proving that he is the child’s legal father. Fifth, if there is more than one possible father, it may be difficult to determine who the child’s father is.
In some cases, it may be necessary to have a DNA test done to establish paternity. This can be expensive, but it is the best way to prove that the father is the child’s father.
If you are having trouble establishing paternity, we can help. We have experience handling these types of cases and can advise you on the best course of action for your situation. Contact our Atlanta paternity lawyers today to schedule a consultation.
Should I Work With a Family Law Attorney?
Cases involving paternity and legitimation can seem difficult. They may be overwhelming and complicated if you or your ex make it out to be that way. However, they can be handled with ease as long as they are handled with the care and compassion necessary. After all, paternity may also be a negative thing as someone who thought they were a child’s father may be revealed not to be the biological father.
Our team at Atlanta Family Law Group LLC has unique experience in legitimation cases. We’ll work with you to determine paternity and what legal rights you have. Whether you are the mother of a child looking to enforce custody and support orders or you’re the father looking to establish parental rights, we can help you navigate the complexities of these case types to pursue the outcome you need.
Our Atlanta family law lawyers handle legitimate cases with care and empathy. We know what the results can show, and we’re prepared to be by your side regardless of the outcome. Trust in our team to be your advocates—your partners—in difficult and emotional matters. We’ll be there for you every step of the way. Contact us at 404-738-5805 today to discuss your options.