Protect Your Parental Rights As A Father Or Mother
Every parent has a duty to provide for their child. If a child is born to unmarried parents, the father or mother must first establish paternity to enforce their rights to custody, visitation or child support. At The Barnette Law Firm, you can rely on founding attorney Kedra M. Gotel to advocate for your rights whether you are a mother or a father.
Legitimation: What Parents Should Know
Legitimation is an opportunity to have the court recognize the bond dads share with their children. A paternity action eliminates any concern an individual may have concerning the relationship with a minor child. Although a legitimation action may only be initiated by an unmarried male, both legitimation and paternity actions aim to establish a parent-child relationship. After establishing legitimation, a dad can seek some form of visitation, parenting time or custody if it is in the best interest of the children.
How To Establish Paternity
A petition for paternity establishes that a blood relationship exists between the parent and child. The mother or father can be ordered to pay child support without any visitation or custodial rights for the father. A petition for paternity may be initiated by:
- The child
- The child’s mother
- A relative caring for the child
- The Department of Human Services
- The alleged father
There are other methods for establishing paternity, including signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity prior to the mother and child being discharged from the hospital. Paternity actions may also be initiated prior to the birth of a child. The genetic tests necessary for determining a blood relationship cannot be administered, however, until after the child is born.
Work With A Lawyer To Protect Your Rights
The legitimation and paternity processes are filled with complex steps. Rather than attempting them on your own, work with an attorney who understands the process. Reach out to Attorney Gotel at her Atlanta office for an initial consultation. You can send her an email or call 470-567-9635.