A Father’s Rights in Georgia

A Father’s Rights in Georgia

Georgia law distinguishes between a biological father and a legally recognized father. Simply fathering a child does not automatically give one the rights of a parent. Georgia law puts a large amount of emphasis on whether the parents of the child were married at the time of birth, or whether the parents ended up getting married after the child was born.

A Child Born Within the Confines of a Marriage

Under Georgia law, if a child is born to a woman who is married, the law presumes that the father of the child is the husband. The law considers what is in the best interest of the child. Thus, if a mother has a child within a marriage whose father is not the husband, it is crucial that action is taken immediately. Otherwise, the court may refuse to give the biological father rights in the life of the child.

If you are the father of a child who was born to a woman while she was married to another man, it is imperative that you take action immediately. While there is no definitive time after which a court will not recognize paternal rights, it is clear that the courts view a father who asserts his rights earlier in better favor than one who waits. In asserting your paternity rights, the help of an experienced family law attorney could make all the difference. Therefore, it is important that you contact an attorney so that they may help you with your case. To learn more about the process of legitimating a child, click here.

If you are the other man in this situation, in other words, if you know or think that your wife has had a child during your marriage with another man, you may need to consider your rights as well. It could be important that you have an attorney on your side to ensure that your rights are protected.

Custody and Visitation

When it comes to asserting paternal rights, such as getting custody of a child or merely getting visitation, asserting your rights is the key. Parents who are married share the rights to the child equally. However, if the parents of a child are not married, rights become more complicated. If the mother of the child is unmarried, the father must initiate a court proceeding to legitimize the child in order to assert rights such as visitation and custody. Without the procedure, the mother has total control of the child and, as such, can deny the father the opportunity to see the child if she so chooses, at least until the court has recognized the father.

Child Support

While a father must legitimize his rights before he is given any legally recognized right to visit the child or have custody, a mother may be given child support without such legitimation.

To learn more about what might happen during your case, click here.

What Should You Do?

If you or someone you know is struggling with the issue of paternity and the rights that accompany being the father of a child, contacting an experienced attorney is an important first step. The attorneys at Edwards and Associates may be able to help you with your case and ensure you are given all the rights that you deserve.

Author Bio

Regina Edwards is the Owner and Managing Attorney of Edwards Family Law, an Atlanta family law and estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With more than 21 years of experience practicing law, she is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, legitimation, wills, trusts, probate, and Medicaid planning.

Regina received her Juris Doctor from the Tulane School of Law and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for six years, as well as being named among the Pro Bono All Stars by the Georgia Bar Journal in 2019.

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