Georgia law, like that of most states, is written to address a traditional family system that doesn’t match the reality of many of today’s children. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the state’s treatment of unwed parents. While the mother of a child has full parental rights, unwed fathers in Georgia bear the responsibilities of fatherhood (such as the obligation to pay child support), without the rights that benefit married fathers (such as visitation with the child).
To gain these rights, the father can use a legal process called legitimation where the father proves his biological paternity and attempts to socially declare the child as his own. If you are interested in legitimation, I can help you in this process as you strive to become a dad rather than just a biological father.
However, sometimes it is not in the child’s best interest for the legitimation to be granted, such as when the father has waited too long to become involved in the child’s life. In such circumstances I can raise a defense on your behalf to block the legitimation and preserve your sanity and your child’s well-being.
The impact of a legitimation is not guaranteed. For example, just because a legitimation is granted does not mean visitation will be awarded. There are no hard-and-fast rules determining the outcome, so it’s important to have a skilled attorney to present your best case for or against any legitimation dispute.