Paternity and Legitimation
When a child’s parents are not married at the start of pregnancy or at birth, the father does not obtain the legal rights and responsibilities of being a parent. For the mother, the lack of financial support and other parental contributions can lead to significant hardship. Not having status as a parent means the father has no basis to participate in the important decisions involved with raising a child, and he is not entitled to parenting time. Fortunately, Georgia laws on paternity and legitimation designate a process for legally recognizing the roles of both parents.
Disputes are common in parentage cases, so it is essential to retain skilled representation to protect your interests. Our team at Kresky Law has extensive experience representing mothers and fathers, along with in-depth knowledge of the laws. Please contact us to set up a consultation today. An Atlanta paternity and legitimation attorney can provide personalized details on how the process works. A summary of the relevant concepts is also useful.
Options for Establishing Parental Rights
There is a legal presumption that a child is the offspring of two people who are married at the time, but parentage must be proven through other means when they are unmarried. There are two concepts that apply to such a situation:
1. Paternity establishes the child’s biological father, and it can be legalized through a voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement form. Going to court is another option to prove paternity, and the key evidence is DNA.
2. With legitimation, a biological father is seeking rights to child custody and parenting time.
Legal Effect of Paternity and Legitimation
With paternity actions, the mother or father may file the case. The end result is the court’s finding on whether that person is the child’s biological father. If so, the father becomes legally obligated to pay child support. He also has the power to file a legitimation action to have a court decide custody and visitation. Legitimation action is necessary to enforce these rights, as establishing paternity alone does not.
Assistance with Parentage Cases
The legal effect in these cases is extremely crucial for all involved parties, and Kresky Law is committed to providing essential legal support. Our Atlanta paternity and legitimation attorneys will:
- Advise you and assist with preparing a Paternity Acknowledgement
- Prepare the petition for a paternity case, along with supporting evidence
- Develop a strategy for responding to a petition for paternity in court
- Represent you in court for a hearing on paternity
- Counsel you on options for legitimation if you are adjudicated to be the biological father
- Assist with obtaining necessary court orders on child custody, visitation, and support
Consult with a Georgia Family Lawyer About Paternity and Legitimation
Considering the complications for establishing parentage and contested cases, you can see that legal help is critical. Kresky Law will explain how the laws apply to your situation, enabling you to make informed decisions about your situation. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with an Atlanta family law attorney who provides additional details.