Attorney For Establishing Paternity
Under Georgia law, the mother is immediately a legal parent of a child born to her. As the father, you may or may not be. If you are married to the mother, you are the legal parent. If you are not married to the mother, you need to see an attorney to find out what rights you have.
As a family law attorney, I represent both men and women in child custody and visitation cases involving children who are born outside of wedlock in Georgia. I also help ensure child support is calculated fairly. My law office is in Cumming, Georgia, and I serve clients in Forsyth County and neighboring counties.
What If My Name Is On The Child's Birth Certificate?
Hospitals have fathers and mothers sign lots of paperwork when a child is born. However, having your name on your child's birth certificate does not mean having the right to see your child if the mother objects. Nor does it give you the right to have a say in your child's medical care, education or religious upbringing.
To secure your legal rights as a parent in Georgia, you must establish that you are the father through a legal process known as legitimation. If the mother is in agreement and you have the papers the hospital had you sign, the process is fairly simple. If the mother does not agree that you are the father, you will need to take a DNA test.
Why It's Important To Establish Paternity
While you and the mother may have a good relationship now, that could change in the future. If the mother chooses to prevent you from seeing your child in the future, she could do so unless you establish paternity. Establishing paternity will be simpler while you and your partner are on good terms.
Establishing paternity is also important to provide your child's legal rights to insurance coverage and certain benefits such as Social Security benefits if you die, veterans benefits, or the settlement or judgment from a wrongful death lawsuit filed in your name.
You can see why it is critical to work with a lawyer to establish legally that you are the parent of your child. I welcome the opportunity to answer your questions and assess your situation during a consultation. Call (770) 755-5695 or email me to meet with an attorney, who will protect your relationship with your child.