In the state of Georgia, babies are not always the product of a married couple. A large number of children are born to parents who are not married to one another. Many parents are unaware that having a child born in such a situation greatly affects the legal rights and responsibilities for both parents. One of the best ways to sharply define parental rights is to establish paternity.
How to Establish Parentage
It is worth remembering that the mother, father, child, or any relative taking care of a child can potentially file for a paternity action. In a large number of cases, paternity is commonly established through DNA testing. There are a few other ways, however, that Georgia allows paternity establishments to be adjudicated:
- Challenging Paternity Establishments: After paternity has been established, a parent can challenge the establishment of paternity. While the medical evidence used to establish paternity is often reliable and accurate in nature, in some occasions this equipment has been known to create incorrect results. Some of the ways in which these results can be improper are fraudulent lab results, inadequate lab results, proof of infertility or sterility, proof that tests results were tampered with, and proof of a mother’s marital infidelity.
- Court Orders: In some cases, paternity can be established through a court order that can be issued by a local, state, or federal court. A variety of courts can establish paternity through agreements for legal separation, divorce decrees, or other judicial/administrative orders.
- Legal Marriage: If the parents of a child are married when the child is born, law in the state of Georgia presumes that the husband is the biological father of the child. In this type of situation, married parents need not do anything else for legally binding paternity to be established.
- Paternity Acknowledgment Form: Parents who are not married have the option of establishing paternity by signing a Paternity Acknowledgment Form. Parents can sign the form in the hospital after the child is born at the State Office of Vital Records in Atlanta or the Office of Vital Records in the county where the child born in addition to many other locations. The purpose of these forms is to facilitate the process of establishing paternity and legitimating a child born from unwed parents.
The Assistance of a Seasoned Georgia Family Law Attorney
The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. understand the legitimation process and how important establishing parenthood can be for an unwed couple. The paternity process in the state of Georgia also requires specific steps which can make the assistance of a skilled attorney particularly helpful. Our legal counsel strongly believes in the importance of fatherhood and supports the significant roles that both parents can play in the development of a child. Our firm is fortunately able to help clients develop efficient and strategic approaches in these emotionally difficult times. Do not hesitate to contact our firm today by either visiting our firm online or calling the firm at 678-736-7700 to schedule an initial consultation.