Alpharetta Paternity Lawyer
All parents have the financial responsibility to support their children. This obligation is regardless of whether you are married, divorced, or you were never married in the first place. In addition to these obligations, fathers have rights to visitation, custody, and participate in decisions related to raising their child. Obviously, a mother might not necessarily agree with the father being involved. In that situation, you may need to go through a Georgia paternity and child custody dispute. You definitely need an experienced Alpharetta paternity lawyer who can help. To learn more about what to expect during a Georgia paternity case, contact Buckhead Family Law today.
Parentage Laws in Georgia
Georgia parentage laws distinguish between two key issues—paternity and legitimation. Paternity involves establishing who a child’s biological father is. Legitimation is the process where the court established a legal relationship between the child and father. Paternity and legitimation are not the same things, which is why it’s important to point out the distinctions. Determining paternity creases obligations such as child support for the father, while legitimation could establish parental rights for the father.
How to Establish Paternity in Georgia
When a couple is married and has a child, the law considers the husband to be the child’s biological father. If they are not married at the time of birth, the father could voluntarily establish his paternity by signing the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Form while at the hospital. If that’s not possible, he can also complete a notarized form to submit to the State Office of Vital Records or the County Vital Records Office.
If there is not a voluntary acknowledgment, you may need to file a court action. Court actions can be initiated by a child’s mother, the putative father, a relative who is caring for the child, DHS/DCSSS, or even the child him or herself.
At Buckhead Family Law, we offer professional representation for anyone seeking to confirm or challenge paternity in these types of proceedings. We have over a decade of experience handling issues related to family law matters in Georgia. You can rely on Buckhead Family Law to protect your rights and deliver effective and strong advocacy in your Alpharetta paternity matter.
How Legitimation Works in Georgia
When the father signs the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Form, there is a section on legitimation at the bottom. The father has the option to sign at the top to establish paternity and not sign at the bottom to establish legitimation. If he chooses, he can sign both, establishing his paternity and legitimation at one time.
Prior to the child turning a year old, the putative father can file a legitimation action in either juvenile or superior court. The child’s mother has a right to contest the filing and claim that the father lost all rights to establish a relationship.
Contact an Alpharetta Paternity Lawyer
Establishing paternity can bring many benefits to your child, including the rights to government benefits or an inheritance, medical insurance eligibility, and more. To learn more about paternity and legitimation in Georgia, speak with our Alpharetta paternity lawyers today. Contact Buckhead Family Law today to schedule an initial consultation.