Unmarried Fathers Rights In Georgia

Unmarried Fathers Rights In Georgia

You’re probably wondering if there are ANY unmarried fathers rights in Georgia. 

This article is going over:

  • what rights unmarried fathers don’t have
  • how to get unmarried fathers rights in Georgia
  • how to avoid paying child support WITHOUT custody

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.

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Unmarried Fathers Rights In Georgia

In Georgia, the custody laws for unmarried parents give mothers full legal custody automatically. 

This means that unmarried father’s rights in Georgia do not exist

For an unmarried father to establish any rights, he has to:

  • establish paternity, and;
  • file for legitimation

So, the steps are to establish paternity and then file for legitimation

The area between establishing paternity and legitimation is a grey area for unmarried fathers rights in Georgia. 

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.

This is the grey area about this. 

After you establish paternity, you will owe child support. 

But until you legitimize the child, you still have zero parental rights to the child.

This is why it’s important for you to work with an experienced child custody lawyer in Georgia. 

If you’re like our other clients, you probably want to minimize the time where you owe child support with zero rights to the child.

It’s true that unmarried mothers have full legal and physical custody.

But an unmarried father who has NOT established paternity does not owe any child support.

(Don’t let anyone try to trick you into believing this.)

An unmarried father does not owe any child support until he establishes paternity.

Only married fathers automatically owe child support

But remember that paying child support does not provide an unmarried father with any parental rights in Georgia.

Sadly, even legitimizing a child doesn’t automatically give unmarried fathers rights in Georgia.

After you legitimize the child, you only have the ABILITY to file for custody and visitation.

This means that until you legitimize the child, you can’t request custody or visitation. 

But after you legitimize the child, you are able to file a petition for custody and visitation

You still have to go through the entire custody battle for fathers after paternity and legitimization. 

Related: What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody

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

Again, unmarried fathers rights in Georgia are non-existent.

When two parents are unmarried, 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.

Related: How Can A Father Get Full Custody of His Child

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.

Related: What Not To Do During A Custody Battle

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.

Related: How a Mother Can Lose a Custody Battle

How To Get Unmarried Fathers Rights In Georgia

To get unmarried fathers rights in Georgia, the father has to establish paternity and legitimation. 

How To Establish Paternity

When an unmarried father establishes paternity, it legally formalizes the relationship between him and the 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

Related: If There Is No Custody Order In Place Can I Take My Child?

Legitimation 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 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.

This is because establishing paternity means you’re paying child support.

But without legitimization, you still have no custody rights.

Related: Reasons a Judge Will Change Custody

Legitimation is a way that an unmarried fathers rights in Georgia can get legally established.

To establish legitimation, an unmarried father needs to file a petition for legitimation.

The petition for legitimation can include claims for visitation and custody.

Note that you don’t automatically get granted legitimation of your child.

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

You will have to take a DNA test and prove that you are a fit father. 

Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child

Don’t Lose Custody Of Your Child

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This means that you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children.

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This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

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