LEGITIMATION: What you didn't know, and what you NEED to know.
Updated: Aug 7
January 4, 2019
Was your child born while you and the mother were not married?
If so, did you know that in Georgia you have no legal rights to your child?
Many fathers find this out the hard way, and sometimes it’s too late. Even when a father is listed on the birth certificate and the child has the father’s last name, if the father has not legitimated he has NO legal rights. When two parents are married at the birth of their child, legal rights are automatically vested in the father. If the parents are not married, the father must take action in order to gain his rights, and the sooner he does the better as the ability to legitimate can be lost.
In Georgia, a father must seek to establish legitimation in order to be recognized under Georgia law as the legal father. A legitimation action is the legal process by which a biological father can establish these rights, change the child’s last name, and obtain custody and/or visitation with his son or daughter. Until a legitimation is granted, a father does not have any of these rights. What can be worse is, while the child’s mother can legally prevent a father from seeing his child, she can legally force him to pay child support.
Navigating the legal system and the legitimation process can be complicated. An experienced family law attorney should always be consulted to ensure your rights are protected.
At Weaver Law Firm, our family law attorneys are representing an increasing number of fathers who have had their children withheld from them. If you are a father and your child was born out of wedlock or the mother is preventing you from seeing your child or being involved in making decisions for your child, Weaver Law Firm can help. You can obtain the legal right to be involved in your child’s life and to have equal rights with the mother. Call one of our family law attorneys today for a free consultation on how to get the legitimation process started now.