Barrow County Paternity Attorneys
Championing the Rights of Fathers in Jackson, Walton, Gwinnett, Oconee, Clarke, Hall, and Banks Counties
When a child is born out of wedlock in Georgia, only the mother automatically retains rights as a parent. The male parent will not be legally recognized as the child’s father unless they establish paternity, and without legitimation, the father will be unable to request custody or visitation.
Were you never married to the mother of your child or children and are now separated? Are you a father desiring parental custodial rights that are currently out of legal reach? Has the mother attempted to keep your child away from you, and you are not sure where else to turn?
At the Mitchell & Crunk Law Firm, we are prepared to help you navigate delicate issues of paternity and legitimation. Depending on the circumstances, establishing paternity may be as simple as filling out a form. In other cases, however, clarifying paternity may require court action. Seeking legitimation can also become a contentious affair if your child’s mother attempts to shut you out.
If you are the biological father of your child and wish to access and exercise your rights as their parent, our Barrow County paternity lawyer can guide you through the necessary legal processes. We are extensively familiar with many areas of family law and can also assist you with seeking custody and visitation rights once your parentage has been recognized.
If you have questions about paternity or legitimation, do not hesitate to contact us online or call (678) 701-6252. We offer free initial consultations.
If your child is born out of wedlock, you will need to take steps to establish paternity. How this can be accomplished will depend on your unique situation.
If you and the biological married are both unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, you can voluntarily clarify paternity by signing a Paternity Acknowledgment Form. This must be done within one year of the infant’s birth, and both parents must agree to sign. You may not be able to use this form if the mother was recently married or if another father is listed on the child’s birth certificate.
When this option is not available, paternity will need to be established through a formal court order. You can choose to seek this clarification yourself, or the biological mother might “involuntarily” establish paternity without your direct participation. If the biological mother contests your claim of paternity, you and the child may need to submit to genetic testing.
Once paternity has been established, you may wish to file a legitimation action. This can be more challenging, as the child’s mother may claim that your legitimation is not in the best interests of your child. In these situations, you will have to convince the court that taking a more active role in your child’s life will ultimately benefit the child.
There may be complications to seeking legitimation if another person in the child’s life is classified as their “legal” father. Someone may be considered a legal father if they adopted the child, legitimated the child, was married to the biological mother at the time of the child’s birth, or married the biological mother shortly after the child’s birth and raised it as their own. We can help you explore your options when faced with these potential difficulties.
There is no deadline for establishing paternity or legitimation in Georgia. Our Barrow County paternity attorneys will identify how your parentage can be formally clarified and guide you through the applicable legal processes, including seeking a legitimation action in the appropriate county.
Why Establishing Paternity and Seeking Legitimation Is Important in Georgia
When a married couple has a child, the biological mother and father gain equal parental rights. This means they both have rights to physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (decision-making authority on how the child is raised). They also both have inheritance rights if the child passes away without a last will and testament.
As the father of a child born out of wedlock, you will not have any of these rights by default. To gain access to custody, visitation, and inheritance rights, you must first establish paternity and then establish legitimation. Without legitimation, a father cannot enforce his rights, even if they have been formally recognized as the child’s biological parent.
We understand the importance of reuniting and spending time with your children, and our team at the Mitchell & Crunk Law Firm is committed to helping fathers exercise their rights. No matter your situation, our Barrow County paternity lawyers can help you review your legal options and provide the guidance you need to achieve your parenting goals.
Call (678) 701-6252 or contact us online to discuss how we can help you establish paternity or legitimation in Georgia. Payment plans and same-day appointments are available.
If you have found our website, chances are you and your family are going through a difficult moment. Our team welcomes the opportunity to assist you and is determined to make a positive difference in your life. When you come to us for help, our Barrow property division lawyers will listen to your concerns, identify the legal issues involved in your case, explain the law to you, and provide the effective legal counsel you need to succeed. Our track record speaks for itself, and we encourage you to review our testimonials to learn more about what our clients think of our family law services.
“Couldn't have been happier!”
“Mitchell and Crunk was very diligent throughout my whole process. And I couldn't have asked for a better outcome in my case.”
“He genuinely cared about my case first and myself as a client. He was so thorough with the case and actually listened to me and cared. He is also very descriptive and helps you really understand your case with such an honest tone.”
“I met Matthew Crunk and he was just amazing. He listened to me, was very understanding of my situation and very thorough on explaining everything to me.”
“The environment was welcoming and the staff was very polite. Misty was more than happy to help me and provide me with answers to all of my questions during our consultation.”