Parental rights are sacred, and protecting your relationship with your children is of vital importance. This is particularly important for Georgia fathers not considered the legal parents of their children or not listed as the father on the birth certificate.
If you were not married to the mother of your child at the time of birth, you would be wise to take immediate steps to protect your rights as a father by seeking to establish paternity. The status of your relationship with the biological mother does not influence your right to regular access and parenting time.
What do you need to know about filing a paternity claim?
Simply having your name on the birth certificate does not necessarily mean that you have rights as a father. Rather, establishing paternity through the appropriate legal steps is the best way to secure custody rights and the ability to have a say in your child's life.
A successful paternity claim requires the assistance of an attorney with experience in the legal process, child custody law and the nuances of the factors that impact parental rights. By legally establishing paternity, you will have the following rights and benefits:
- A say regarding your child's religious upbringing and education
- A role in medical decisions that impact your kids
- Regular visitation and possible shared custody
- Assurance that the nature of your parenting plan cannot be impacted by any changes in your relationship with the mother
In addition to these rights, establishing paternity could give your child the right to life insurance settlements, Social Security benefits or veteran benefits in the event of your death. Paternity will not only clearly define your role in the life of your child, it can ensure that your child will have financial stability and security.
Protecting your rights; safeguarding your child's future
There are multiple financial, emotional, legal and practical reasons why establishing paternity is a smart step for fathers who are not yet the legal parents of their children. Taking the appropriate steps toward protecting your rights and safeguarding the future of your child involves securing the guidance of an experienced child custody lawyer. You are a parent, and with the right help, you can have a strong relationship with your child, now and in the years to come.