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Want Legal Rights Regarding Your Child?

Legitimation is the way to establish the father's legal rights in Georgia. Without legitimation, the father of a child born to unmarried parents has no custody rights, even if he is listed on the birth certificate. However, he will be responsible for child support, even if he has not legitimized the child, if it is established that he is the biological father.

Few fathers want all of the financial obligations of being a parent without any of the emotional and legal benefits. Legitimation can accomplish several goals:

  • It can give fathers the right to visitation or custody of minor children
  • It allows for children to inherit from fathers and fathers to inherit from children
  • It gives children the right to access medical history on their father's side
  • It may modify or allow for Social Security or other benefits

Legitimation is only necessary for children born "out of wedlock." Under Georgia law, if a mother is married at the time of birth, her spouse is the presumed legal parent.

The Legitimation Process And Establishing Custody Rights

A father who wishes to have custody rights must file a petition with the court to legitimate the child or children. This could include joint legal custody with visitation rights, joint physical custody, or even sole custody if the child is not in a healthy environment at his or her current home. The child's name may also be legally changed and a new birth certificate issued.

Get Help With Legitimation From An Experienced Augusta Family Law Attorney

A respected lawyer throughout Augusta, Catherine Verdery Ryan has helped many fathers through the legitimation process. She has been helping Georgia families for over 25 years regarding legitimation, child custody and adoption. To learn about your rights under Georgia law, schedule a consultation with Ms. Ryan. She will clearly explain your rights, answer your questions and provide knowledgeable legal help throughout the process. You can call 706-251-7612 or reach us online.