The establishment of paternity is something that is often associated with child support obligations or divorces involving adultery claims. While establishing legitimacy is an important part of establishing child support obligations for children born out of wedlock, they are also important to fathers who want to secure their relationships with their children. After a separation, some custodial parents may attempt to keep their child’s father from having contact with their mutual children. When this happens, involving the legal system may become the only way for a father in Georgia to regain access to his child. A man who wants to protect his rights can do so by filing a legitimation action in court with the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.

Name Changes

Patrilineal inheritance of last names has long been a way for a father in the United States to publically acknowledge the paternity of his children. Over the past decade the discussions questioning the use of the father’s last name have intensified as a growing percentage of women decide to hyphenate last names or give their children their maiden name. Men who would like their children born out of wedlock to have their last name may decide to pursue legitimacy for that purpose. Using the last name of a father is viewed as a low cost way of beginning to establish a healthy relationship between a child and a father.

Ability to Inherit

During a marriage couples are typically the beneficiary of some or all of their spouse’s estate when they pass away. When the surviving spouse passes away, their mutual children are then able to inherit assets. However, when a couple has a child out of wedlock and legitimacy is not established inheritance can become complicated. The surviving parents or siblings of the father who expect to inherit can create substantial difficulties for a child who thought he or she would receive property from a father. Establishing legitimacy is a way to protect your children by ensuring they are able to inherit your property without an extended battle with other family members.

Custody and Visitation

Once a petition to legitimize children is granted a father is able to pursue his legal rights to see his children. It becomes possible for the father to request visitation with the children and also allows him to ask for custody at a later date. Without legitimacy proved, a father in Georgia may find himself battling for custody if something happens to custodial parent in the future. Fathers who have not established parental rights are not even able to object to adoptions of their children should one be initiated.

Seek Help Immediately

Protecting your rights and establishing a relationship with your child is something that should never be taken for granted. Even if you and your partner have a loving relationship while co-parenting children, a tragedy could change things overnight. Exploring your options and discussing the process prior to any emergency occurring gives you a chance to avoid any disruptions in your child’s life or your role as a parent. The legitimation and paternity attorney’s at Vayman and Teitelbaum are able to provide you with the assistance you need while guiding you through the complicated process. Contact us today and schedule a consultation at one of our four offices conveniently located in the Atlanta metro area.