You’re trying to figure out how to legitimize a child in Georgia.
This article will walk you through:
- how to legitimize a child in Georgia
- reasons you won’t be able to legitimize a child in Georgia
- things the mother SHOULD NOT do if you want to legitimize a child in Georgia
- the repercussions of legitimizing a child in Georgia
Let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
- Legitimize A Child In Georgia
- What Is Legitimation?
- Born Out Of Wedlock Meaning
- How To Legitimize A Child In Georgia
- The Impact Of Legitimizing A Child In Georgia
- Petition For Legitimation
- Legitimacy (Family Law) Statutes
It’s heartbreaking when parents lose custody of their children. But you end up still 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.
Legitimize A Child In Georgia
Under Georgia law, there are to ways to legitimize a child in Georgia. They are:
- the recognized parents marry after birth
- the father petitions the courts to legitimate the child
There are two components to legitimizing a child in Georgia:
- legitimizing the child
- filing for legal and physical custody rights to the child
Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child
What Is Legitimation
So, what is legitimation?
Legitimation is a way for the father to claim legal parentage of a child born out of wedlock.
Legitimation in Georgia means that the child has the right to:
- an inheritance from the father
- get a family medical history from the father’s side
- get placed in a relative’s home on the father’s side if the mother is unable to care for the child
Legitimation in Georgia gives the father the right to:
- file a petition for custody
- inherit property or money from the child
- request a visitation schedule
Without legitimation in Georgia, only the mother has custody rights out of wedlock.
Related: Reasons a Judge Will Change Custody
Born Out Of Wedlock Meaning
Born out of wedlock means that the parents were not married to each other at the time of birth.
If the child is born out of wedlock, then they are not legitimate in Georgia.
If the parents were married but got an annulment in Georgia, the child is still legitimate.
The child is also legitimate in Georgia if the mother:
- is married when the child is born
- ended a marriage less than 9 months before the child was born
If the mother gets pregnant while married, Georgia law assumes the husband to be the father.
This is true even if he is not the biological father.
In this case, the child is legitimate to the husband.
Related: Custody Battle For Fathers
How To Legitimize A Child In Georgia
Let’s talk about how to legitimize a child in Georgia.
- The mother is not married at the time of birth. The biological father can legitimize a child by marrying the mother.
- The child is less than one year old. The father can legitimize a child by signing an “acknowledgment of legitimation.”
- The mother gives birth in a Georgia hospital. The father can sign an acknowledgment of legitimation and an acknowledgment of paternity. Both documents have to be notarized and submitted to the State Office of Vital Records.
If The Biological Father Is Not The Husband
Let’s talk about if the mother is married to someone other than the father at the time of birth.
The law presumes the husband to be the father even if he is not.
The biological father cannot marry the mother or sign an acknowledgment of paternity to gain legitimation in Georgia.
The biological father will have to establish paternity.
Then he can file a petition for legitimation in court.
If the biological father files the petition, the people that can challenge the petition are:
- the husband unless he has divorced the mother on the grounds of giving birth to another man’s child.
- the mother unless she has lost parental rights.
- the adoptive parents if they have child custody.
Overcoming The Presumption Of Paternity
Overcoming the presumption of paternity is tough.
Let’s say the mother gets a divorce.
But, in the settlement agreement, she stated that the husband was the father.
In this case, she hid the fact that the husband was not the biological father.
The courts will not allow the mother to claim the former husband is not the father in this case.
Let’s say that the biological father marries the mother after her divorce.
And that the mother has been receiving child support from the ex-husband.
The biological father cannot challenge the presumption of paternity in this case either.
Let’s say the mother was not married when the child was born.
In this case, a DNA test can establish the father’s paternity.
But this does not mean that the father will automatically get legitimation in Georgia.
The courts will make the decisions based on what the best interests of the child are.
The Impact Of Legitimizing A Child In Georgia
Legitimizing a child in Georgia means that the father can ask the court for custody rights.
This includes legal and physical custody of the child.
After legitimizing a child in Georgia, the father will get ordered to pay child support.
He will have to pay child support even if he gets denied custody and visitation.
Filing A Petition For Legitimation
If the father gets legitimation in Georgia, he has the right to request custody and visitation.
To file a petition for legitimation:
- download a petition for legitimation
- file it at the mother’s local county clerk’s office
It’s really that simple for a father to petition for legitimation in Georgia.
When you file the petition for legitimation, you will have to pay filing fees.
The filing fees for legitimation are about $80-$100.
You will also have to pay to have the Sheriff’s serve the petition to the mother.
This costs $25-$50 each time they go to the address.
Meaning, if she’s not home the first time, you’ll have to pay it again for them to go back out.
Legitimacy (Family Law) Statutes
This legitimacy (family law) statute states that a child can be legitimized through administrative proceedings.
This legitimacy (family law) statute states that the mother has all rights until a father legitimates the child.
How To Legitimize Your Child
If you want the best child custody attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.
We have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.
This means that:
- you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children
- you don’t get raked over the coals financially
After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.