Atlanta Paternity & Legitimation Attorney
Having a baby and not married to the other person, now what?
Sometimes a woman becomes pregnant and she is not married to the person who impregnanted her. Being married and having a child together creates rights and responsibilities for both parents, while having a child when unmarried creates a void in those rights and responsibilities. So, now what? Sometimes no one wants to do anything about that, and that’s okay. Sometimes, either the mother or the father wants to establish the rights and responsibilities to the child and that where paternity and legitimation actions come into play.
The Atlanta family law attorneys at Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French Family Law can advise you on your rights and options as a mother or father. We can guide you through the processes of paternity and legitimation or advocate your interests in court for matters in dispute. Learn more about paternity and legitimation below, and call our offices to discuss your needs.
If a man and a woman are married at the time the child is born, then the husband is presumed to be the child’s biological father and thus, he is given certain rights and responsibilities. Paternity is the legal process that establishes a man as the child’s biological father. Paternity is typically established to create a child support obligation for the Father. Paternity actions can be brought by the Mother of the Father.
Under Georgia law, a child’s biological father has no parental rights if he is not married to the child’s mother when the child is born. Signing the birth certificate does not legitimate the father’s status, and neither does living with the child or playing an active role in the child’s life. Paying child support does not legitimate a child either. In fact, a father can be court-ordered to pay child support but still have no parental rights when it comes to custody, visitation or making parenting decisions.
In Georgia, a Father must “legitimate” the child to establish legal rights to the child. In Father’s request for legitimation he can seek custody and parenting time.
Paternity and legitimation are about more than child custody and child support. Once legitimated, the child has legal rights to inherit from the father. The child can also receive Social Security and other government benefits through the child’s relationship with the father. It may also be important for children to know where they came from, have a sense of identity, and know facts about their family medical history.
Advice and Representation in Atlanta Paternity and Legitimation Matters
For help with issues of paternity and legitimation as a mother, father or another interested party, call Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French Family Law. Our solution-oriented Atlanta family law attorneys are here to counsel you, guide you, and stand up for your rights in Atlanta family law matters.