A Petition for Legitimation is filed in the Superior Court of the county of the residence of the child’s mother, or other party having legal custody or guardianship of the child. This is codified in O.C.G.A. 19-7-22
A child who is not legitimate is a child born out of wedlock. The term “child born out of wedlock” in Georgia means a child whose parents are not married to one another when that child is born, or who do not subsequently marry one another. This is codified in O.C.G.A. 19-7-23.
When children in Georgia are born to unmarried parents or “out of wedlock”, issues may arise concerning paternity and legitimation. If you are not receiving financial support from the other parent, and you would like to establish support, you should consult with one of our Attorneys about pursuing legitimation or paternity in Georgia, as you may have legal remedies available. Likewise, if you are a father in Georgia who would like to establish legal rights and visitation rights to your children, it will likely be in your best interest to pursue a legitimation action.
At the law firm of Bivek Brubaker & Prescott LLC our experienced family lawyers can help you through the process of paternity and legitimation. We can help you understand your legal rights to your child, educate you on the issues concerning child support and child custody, and help you determine whether pursuing an action of paternity or legitimation is in your best interest as a parent.
Although paternity can be established upon the child’s birth in a hospital if the father is present at the time, children born to unmarried parents sometimes do not have paternity established. In these cases, unless the father legitimates the child, only the mother of the child is entitled to have physical and legal custody to that child.
A father may file a petition for legitimation to seek custody of that child. Likewise, a mother who is seeking child support and visitation rights for a father may file a petition for paternity. In most cases, this means that a DNA paternity test will be taken to determine paternity. These petitions for legitimation and paternity may be undertaken by consent or as contested matters that the court has to resolve.
The first step toward understanding your rights is to speak with an experienced attorney about pursuing a paternity or legitimation petition. Contact us at Bivek Brubaker & Prescott LLC for a 30-minute consultation. Call us at 404-793-6530 or toll free at 866-527-2630.