Paternity/Legitimation | Return to Index

In Georgia, an unwed father has no legal rights to his child unless he has the child formally acknowledged in a court of competent jurisdiction. Nevertheless, while not having any formal rights to the child, a father’s obligation to support the child remains intact despite there being no formal order in place requiring a specified amount to be paid to the mother. While being obligated to financially support a child, why should that parent not also have access to information, share in decision making, and maybe most important of all have the opportunity to spend parenting and visitation time with that child? Unfortunately, if there is no legitimation order in place, a mother has no obligation to ensure that any of these rights that are innate to a father are protected.

Should a father find himself in this position, and he wishes to share in the parenting process with his child, a legitimation action should ensue. This way, paternity can be established by genetic testing, and the biological father can be 100% identified. Additionally, the Court will establish the parental rights and obligations, and establish a child support amount in accordance with the needs and best interests of the child. A father’s rights and responsibilities should, and will be clearly defined.

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