How do the Georgia custody laws for unmarried parents affect you?
This article is going over how the Georgia custody laws for unmarried parents:
- strips fathers of their custody rights
- gives mothers everything
- allows fathers to claim custody
- allows mothers to contest an unmarried father’s claims
Let’s dig in.
Custody can be devastating. It’s heartbreaking when parents lose custody of their children. Spouses end up having to pay agonizing amounts of financial support.
If you want to protect your rights, not wrongfully lose custody, and not get raked over the coals financially, fill out the form below. Free consultations are first come first serve. We always run out of slots. Make sure you get yours locked in now.
Georgia Custody Laws For Unmarried Parents
After the father establishes paternity, he does not have any parental rights in Georgia.
But he will still owe child support even though he has zero visitation or child custody rights in Georgia.
Unmarried mothers have full legal and physical custody.
But an unmarried father who has NOT established paternity does not owe any child support.
When a father establishes paternity in Georgia, he will owe child support.
Paying child support does not provide an unmarried father with any parental rights in Georgia.
He will have to legitimize the child to have the ABILITY to file for custody and visitation.
Parental Rights In Georgia
Parental rights in Georgia do not exist for unmarried fathers.
An unmarried father must establish paternity and legitimize his child.
After this, an unmarried father has paternal rights in Georgia.
He can file a petition for visitation and custody of the child.
Related: Custody Battle For Fathers
Fathers Rights Georgia
Fathers’ rights in Georgia are non-existent for unmarried fathers.
For unmarried parents, only the mother has legal or physical custody rights.
Unmarried father’s rights in Georgia are not automatic.
This is true even if the parents have been in a committed relationship for years.
Mothers Rights Georgia
Georgia custody laws for unmarried parents give the mother sole legal and physical custody.
She has full parental power.
She gets entitled to full custody against the biological father.
The only way she loses full custody is if the father establishes paternity and petitions for custody.
Custody Laws In Georgia
Child custody laws in Georgia are physical and legal custody.
Physical custody means that a parent lives with the child.
Legal custody means parents have decision-making power for the child.
Parents can have joint custody or sole custody.
What Rights Does A Father Have If Not On Birth Certificate
If a father is not on the birth certificate, the father has zero rights to the child.
The father has the right to establish paternity and then file for custody and visitation.
If The Father Is On The Birth Certificate What Rights Does He Have
Child custody laws in Georgia say that a father does not have rights even if he’s on the birth certificate.
This includes visitation and custody rights for unmarried fathers who are on the birth certificate.
If a father is on the birth certificate, the only right he has is the right to establish paternity.
How To Legitimize A Child In Georgia
For the custody laws for unmarried parents, there are two ways to legitimize a child in Georgia.
You can legitimize a child in Georgia by:
- the parents marrying after the birth
- the father filing a petition for legitimization in Georgia
Establishing paternity in Georgia does not give an unmarried father custody or visitation rights.
Georgia custody laws differentiate between paternity and legitimization.
Legitimization in Georgia established a legal relationship between the unmarried father and child.
Legitimization in Georgia allows an unmarried father to seek visitation and child custody.
Establishing paternity in Georgia allows an unmarried father to get added to the birth certificate.
After paternity gets established, a father is responsible for child support.
Only establish paternity if you’re trying to get legitimized.
Establishing paternity means you’re paying child support.
But without legitimization, you still have no custody rights.
Related: Reasons a Judge Will Change Custody
How To Establish Paternity
Establishing paternity legally formalizes the relationship between an unmarried father and child.
To establish paternity in Georgia, an unmarried father can:
- sign a Paternity Acknowledgement form at the hospital
- file a petition to establish paternity with the courts
- have a DNA test done on the father, mother, and child
Legitimation In Georgia
Legitimation in Georgia is a way that an unmarried father can establish legal rights to his child.
To establish legitimation, an unmarried father needs to file a petition for legitimation.
The petition for legitimation can include claims for visitation and custody.
A mother can contest a legitimation in Georgia.
Her grounds to contest a legitimation can be:
- the man is not the biological father
- the father is unfit to have custody or visitation
Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child
Don’t Lose Custody Of Your Child
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We have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.
This means that you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children.
Fathers who hire us get the custody they deserve.
We also make sure that your judgment is equitable and fair.
This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.
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