The father of a child born out of wedlock has no legal rights or responsibilities with regard to the child. That means the father neither has the right to custody nor the obligation to pay child support. This is true even if the father is named on the child’s birth certificate.

In Georgia, in order for a father to establish a legal relationship between himself and a child born out of wedlock, he must file a “legitimation” action. For a mother to establish the legal relationship between a father and a child born out of wedlock, she must file a “paternity” action. In both a legitimation and paternity action, it must be established before the court that the man is the biological father of the child. At Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C., our attorneys will guide you through this process and help you establish that the proper parental rights and obligations are legally recognized.

There are a number of reasons a mother may want to file a paternity action.

  • Receive child support from the biological father.
  • The child would be able to inherit from the father.

Establishing paternity can be as simple as filing the appropriate document. In other cases, DNA testing may be necessary to prove an individual is the child’s biological father. Under either scenario, at our law office you will receive the help you need to make an informed, effective decision.

There are a number of reasons a father may want to file a legitimation action.

  • The father may want custody of the child or visitation with the child.
  • The child could take the father’s name.
  • The child would be able to inherit from the father.

A petition to legitimate is not automatically granted by the court. It is important to have an experienced family law attorney protect your rights throughout the legitimation process. If a petition to legitimate is denied, the father loses all rights to the child and the father may not later object to the adoption of the child. The attorneys at V&T Law will work closely with you throughout this process to ensure that you understand your rights and options.

For more information about legitimation or paternity in Georgia and to speak with an attorney, contact us at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. and schedule a consultation. Call our Alpharetta office toll free at 678-736-7700 to make an appointment.