You’re trying to figure out how to legitimize a child in Georgia.
This article will walk you through:
Let’s dig in.
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Under Georgia law, there are to ways to legitimize a child in Georgia. They are:
There are two components to legitimizing a child in Georgia:
Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child
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:
Legitimation in Georgia gives the father the right to:
Without legitimation in Georgia, only the mother has custody rights out of wedlock.
Related: Reasons a Judge Will Change Custody
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:
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
Let’s talk about how to legitimize a child in Georgia.
Related: What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody
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:
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.
Related: Who Has Custody of a Child When the Parents Are Not Married?
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.
Related: Georgia Child Support Laws for Non Custodial Parents
If the father gets legitimation in Georgia, he has the right to request custody and visitation.
To file a petition for legitimation:
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.
Related: If There Is No Custody Order In Place Can I Take My Child?
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.
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