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Establishing or Enforcing Paternity is a Critical Legal Step

Atlanta Legitimation and Paternity Attorneys

In the state of Georgia, all children who are born during a marriage are legally presumed to be children of both the husband and the wife. This automatically grants both parties all the rights and responsibilities of being a parent. If, however, a child is born outside of wedlock, the paternity of the child is not assumed. The father must first establish legal paternity before they can fight for any other rights, such as parenting time. In addition, the mother would need to establish legal paternity of the father before she can seek child support.

When it becomes necessary to determine paternity, Georgia courts will hold a hearing. If necessary, the court can order a DNA test to determine whether or not a man is the biological father of the child or children in question. This, however, is not always necessary. If both the mother and the father agree that the child is the fathers, the process can be completed by signing the proper legal documents.

Whether you are a mother looking to prove who the father is, or you are the father wanting to gain your legal rights to your children, we are here to help. Paternity cases (also called legitimation cases) don't have to be overly complicated, but they do need to be handled with special care. Our experience in this area can help to avoid potential delays or other issues that can cause problems. Contact us to talk about your options and get the process started for establishing the paternity of a child or children.

Who Does Legitimation Help?

Legitimation can be beneficial for all parties involved in custody and support matters. This is because the mother, father, and child all have a significant amount to gain or lose when legitimation is not established. Here's how each party may benefit:

  • The Father: The father can benefit from legitimation when it comes to custody of a child. It also gives the father the right to be listed on the child's birth certificate. However, if the father can go beyond acknowledgement of paternity, the father can fight for custody.  Georgia courts have also found that it is in the child's best interest to share the last name of a legitimized dad.
  • The Mother:The mother may benefit from legitimation most often in matters involving support. When the father tries to deny paternity, the mother can use paternity to enforce support orders through the court.
  • The Child:The child may inherit from his or her paternal father through legitimation. They also may have access to the father's family medical history to determine any health concerns in the future.

Legitimation and paternity may require a court order when one parent or the other tries to deny that the father is actually the father. In this situation, the court may order a DNA test. However, if both parties can agree that father is who he says he is, the process may move forward without the need for additional proceedings.

Working with an Atlanta Family Law Attorney

Cases involving paternity and legitimation can seem difficult. They may be overwhelming and complicated if you or your ex make it out to be that way. However, they can be handled with ease as long as they are handled with the care and compassion necessary. Afterall, paternity may also be a negative thing as someone who thought they were a child's father may be revealed to not be the biological father.

Our team at Atlanta Family Law Group LLC has unique experience in legitimation cases. We'll work with you to determine paternity and what legal rights you have. Whether you are the mother of a child looking to enforce custody and support orders, or you're the father looking to establish parental rights, we can help you navigate the complexities of these case types to pursue the outcome you need.

Our Atlanta family law lawyers handle legitimation cases with care and empathy. We know what the results can show, and we're prepared to be by your side regardless of the outcome. Trust in our team to be your advocates—your partners—in difficult and emotional matters. We'll be there for you every step of the way. Contact us today to discuss your options.


Atlanta Family Law Group LLC is committed to answering your questions about family law issues in Atlanta.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.