Lawrenceville Legitimation Lawyer
Our Legal Services Are Worth Every Cent
The state of Georgia recognizes the relationship between a father and a
child through paternity and legitimation. Paternity establishes the biological
condition of a father, but it does not establish the legal relationship
between a father and child.
A father can voluntarily acknowledge his biological relationship with his
child by providing his written consent on the birth certificate. Or, he
can administratively acknowledge his biological relationship on the Paternity
Acknowledgement Form which can be completed at the hospital at the time
of the birth or later at the Georgia State Office of Vital Records.
Once a father completes the Paternity Acknowledgement Form and his name
is added to the child's birth certificate, the child may receive financial
support from their father and, the child may become eligible for Social
Security benefits from him. An experienced Lawrenceville divorce attorney
can assist you in the paternity and legitimation process so that your
best interests are protected.
Understanding the Legitimation Process
Legitimation allows the biological father to be recognized as the legal
father to a child who was born out of wedlock. There is a section on the
bottom of the Paternity Acknowledgement Form that is for the acknowledgment
of legitimation. This section of the form is a voluntary declaration which
is made by both the mother and the father claiming that the relationship
between the father and the child is considered legitimate.
Upon signing, both parents are freely agreeing upon the legitimization
of their child and both the mother and father's signatures are required.
The signatures must be notarized and photo identification is required.
The Paternity Acknowledgement form is then filed with the Georgia State
Office of Vital Records.
Voluntary acknowledgement must take place before the child's first
birthday. The mother and the father must agree freely and give their consent.
If the mother is married to someone else, or if there is another legal
father, or if she was married to another man during the gestation, then
the legitimation section of the Paternity Acknowledgement form cannot
be signed. Furthermore, if the mother signed another form with another
man, or if her parental rights were terminated then the form cannot be
If paternity and legitimation has not been established through a voluntary
acknowledgement process then a petition for paternity and legitimation
can be filed any time after the birth of the child by the father. Such
a petition can include claims for visitation, parenting time and/or
custody of the child. Only the biological father can file a judicial petition
for legitimation where he seeks legitimation of his child.
A mother can contest the legitimation petition by claiming that the man
is not the biological father of the child or that he is unfit. The courts
will make a determination based on what would be in the "best interests"
of the child. Once legitimation is made by the court, then the father
and child can enjoy the same rights and benefits as a child born in lawful
wedlock. However, the father will not be authorized custody and visitation
until after the courts make a judicial determination stating otherwise.
The child will remain in the custody of the mother unless the courts make
an order awarding custody or visitation to the father.
Experienced Representation in Gwinnett County & Lawrenceville
If you are a father who is seeking to legitimize your child, or if you
are a mother who is seeking to contest a legitimation petition, then a
Lawrenceville legitimation lawyer at Fox Firm, P.C. can help. The firm
has helped numerous clients like you for more than 20 years in the Gwinnett
County area. They have extensive knowledge of the legal system and how
it pertains to paternity and legitimation; therefore, the firm has the
qualifications you need to assist you in the legal process. Fox Firm,
P.C. can represent clients throughout Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County,
plus he offers an initial consultation where they can offer you sound
advice on how best to proceed forward!
To find out more about legitimation please
contact a Lawrenceville legitimation lawyer from the firm today!