Your children are everything to you. But if they were born to unwed parents, you run the risk of being put in a very precarious situation — unless you legitimize your parenthood. Legitimation explains when you — as the father — are recognized as the legal parent of a child who was “born out of wedlock.”
While you and the child’s mother may be well aware of your parentage, Georgia’s courts do not share this same perspective, which is why it’s of the utmost importance to establish legality.
At the Platt Family Law Firm, we have helped many fathers and mothers complete legitimation and establish legal parenthood. We offer many years of experience and will guide you through the process, so you can experience all the joys of fatherhood. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today — there is too much at stake not to.
Prove Your Legal Parenthood with Legitimation
Whenever a child is born out of wedlock, the biological father isn’t automatically acknowledged. Legitimation is a process that bestows legal recognition on the father — just as if the mother was married to him. It is the only way — outside marrying the mother — the father of a child can establish legal parenthood rights. It’s important to understand that the biological father is the only one who can file a petition to legitimate the child. And when you do, you will:
- Create a father-child legal relationship in the eyes of Georgia law.
- Confer your right to inherit from the child and the child to inherit from you.
- Allow you to be listed on the child’s birth certificate.
- Be able to enforce and assert custody rights and visitation rights.
- Establish child support
Why Is It Important for Fathers to Legitimize Fatherhood?
As harsh as it may seem, fathers have no rights before legitimizing parenthood to a child born outside of wedlock or outside the marriage. On the other hand, the mother exercises all parental power of the child and is entitled to physical custody. In other words, before legitimation the father has:
- No legal custody rights
- No physical custody rights
- No rights to visitation
However, you still have the legal obligation to pay child support.
Even though you may have taken a paternity test, only a formal legitimation will stand up in court as proof of fatherhood. Without this vital legal process, you can be ordered to pay child support — but enjoy none of the parental rights.
Essentially, the mother doesn’t have to allow the father to speak to the child, see the child, or have any input on the rearing of the child. This fact highlights the importance of fathers to file for legitimation.
Contact the Platt Family Law Firm
The notion of having to go through the courts to have legal rights to your own flesh and blood can be frustrating. However, it is what is required in the State of Georgia; and it’s always worth the effort. Failure to exert this effort and waiting for too long to legitimate your child could potentially result in you forfeiting your rights. Fortunately, the experienced family law attorneys at Platt Family Law Firm in Roswell can help. We are experienced in all matters of family law including father’s rights.
Don’t wait! Schedule your consultation today and protect your future with your child.