What are fathers rights in Georgia?
This article is going to go over:
Let’s dig in.
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When it comes to father’s rights in Georgia, there are two main scenarios:
Married father’s rights in Georgia are way more friendly to the father.
When you’re married, you automatically have father’s rights in Georgia.
This means you have full parental rights.
A married father’s rights are the same as a mother’s custody rights.
You have equal rights to visitation and custody of your child.
And the courts believe it’s in the child’s best interest for the parents to have a 50/50 split.
So, if you’re worried about father’s rights in Georgia, here’s what you should know.
The father has equal rights to the child that the mother does.
(This doesn’t mean the custody ruling will be fair.)
And the father can file a petition for custody and visitation at any time.
The courts want both parents equally involved in the child’s life.
Even though father’s rights are equal, it can still be hard to get 50/50.
But you can get 50/50 custody if you are:
It’s important to note that your perception of being a good parent may differ from the court’s.
But a good custody lawyer will be able to guide you through the ‘best interests of the child.’
They will help you set up your life to accommodate the best interests of the child.
This way, you can exercise your father’s rights in Georgia.
Which means you increase your chances of getting 50/50 custody.
And in some cases, it can mean that a father is getting full custody.
Related: Georgia Child Support Laws for Non Custodial Parents
An unmarried father’s rights in Georgia are not automatic.
If a child is born out of wedlock, then the father is not legally the father.
(Even though he is biologically the father.)
An unmarried father’s rights in Georgia depend on whether he has proven paternity.
And, without proving paternity, he has zero rights to the child.
The father cannot even request to have visitation or custody.
And the mother has zero obligation to let an unmarried father see the child.
To gain rights to the child, the unmarried father has to establish paternity.
After establishing paternity, he now has his father’s rights in Georgia.
But don’t celebrate yet.
This ONLY means that he now has the right to file a petition for custody and visitation.
Until the court orders get issued, the unmarried father only has the right to FILE for custody and visitation.
But after paternity gets proven, the father will owe child support.
You will owe child support even though you don’t have custody or visitation rights.
So, the steps to gaining father’s rights in Georgia are:
Georgia custody laws require a judge to make custody decisions that are in the child’s best interests.
Remember that the “child’s best interest” according to the Georgia custody laws may differ from your opinion.
Georgia custody laws require a judge to consider the following factors:
Related: If There Is No Custody Order In Place Can I Take My Child
An unmarried father cannot take a child from the mother.
This is because the mothers have full legal and physical custody of children born out of wedlock.
It can be considered parental kidnapping if a father takes a child from the mother.
The father cannot take the child from the mother without a custody agreement.
And fathers have zero custodial rights of a child born out of wedlock.
(Until paternity gets established and the child gets legitimized.)
Related: Moving Out of State With Child No Custody Agreement
Georgia custody laws for unmarried parents give the mother full custody.
The father has zero rights to the child.
An unmarried father who wants rights to the child needs to establish paternity.
(Unmarried fathers who do NOT establish paternity do not owe any child support.)
And paying child support does not give you any rights to the child.
To have father’s rights in Georgia, you have to legitimize the child.
After legitimation, you have the ABILITY to file for custody and visitation.
Legitimation doesn’t give you custody rights.
It gives you the right to file a petition to get custody and visitation of your child.
There are three ways that you can legitimize a child in Georgia.
Georgia paternity laws state that a child born out of wedlock is illegitimate.
To establish a father’s rights in Georgia, a child must get legitimized.
This is the only way a father can gain legal rights to the child.
Otherwise, the mother is the only parent who has any rights to the child.
And when a child is born out of wedlock, the mother automatically has full rights and custody.
Georgia paternity laws state that the father owes child support once paternity gets established.
And he can file a petition for legitimation ONLY after paternity gets established.
Related: Custody Battle For Fathers
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