Legitimation proceedings are a method for fathers to assert and establish rights to a child born out of wedlock, other than by marrying the mother of the child. In Georgia, unmarried fathers do not automatically gain legal recognition upon the birth of their child. They must take certain actions to establish themselves as legal parents.
Along with the establishment of legitimation comes important rights and responsibilities. An order of legitimation establishes that the child may inherit from and through his/her legal father and vice versa. An order of legitimation also allows the legal father to be listed on the child’s birth certificate; and it is the first step toward enforcing your parental rights. Without a formal establishment of legitimation, fathers cannot exercise or enforce important parental rights, such as visitation with the child. Ultimately, an order of legitimation creates a father-child relationship legally between the father and his child.
If custody is to be an issue, at the time you file for legitimation, you may also include any custody, parenting time, and child support issues that you would like the Court to resolve. If you are already listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father, but you and the child’s mother were not married to each other, you must still file a petition with the court to legitimate your child, in order to set up a Parenting Plan and determine the appropriate amount of child support.
At The Platt Law Firm, we represent fathers and mothers in legitimation proceedings and other family law matters. Paternity cases can be extremely complex. If paternity is disputed, each party must make his or her case before a judge. DNA testing may be required. The implications of paternity cases are far-reaching. The outcome can affect your parental rights as well as the determination of child support. Paternity can also impact your child’s inheritance rights. Thus, whether you are seeking to establish paternity or trying to defend against paternity allegations, experienced legal guidance is critical for protecting your interests.
Our Sandy Springs-based family law firm has experience in handling these types of cases, being a dedicated advocate who understands how to protect our clients’ rights and interests. Our team shares a commitment to improving the lives of other families. We are attentive to the unique concerns that each client faces. When you turn to us for professional guidance, we will go out of our way to help you feel comfortable and confident. You can expect us to provide honest, straightforward advice in understandable terms. Contact the Platt Family Law team today.