Under Georgia law, a child born out of wedlock may be legitimated in one of two ways:
1. When the child’s recognized parents marry after the kid is born
2. When the father requests the superior court of the mother’s residency to legitimate the child. Although an illegitimate child retains his or her rights, in Georgia, legitimizing a kid assures that the father retains his or her rights as well.
A Legitimation action usually involves two parts:
1. legitimizing the kid as the Father’s legal child, and
2. securing legal and physical custody rights for the child.
The Legitimation process has a number of phases, which are listed below:
Filing a Legitimacy Petition
Before gaining any legal or physical custody rights to a kid, the father must legitimize the child. A court will examine a number of considerations while legitimizing, including but not limited to:
– The child’s paternity is established;
– The child’s best interests are paramount;
– The child’s connection with his father;
– The Father’s suitability; and
– Whether or whether the mother agrees to the Legitimation.
The Judge will consider both the father’s and the child’s whole lives. If the Mother consents, most counties in Metro Atlanta will order the Legitimation. If the Mother refuses to agree, the Court will concentrate on the other grounds.
The Influence of Legitimacy
After the court declares a kid to be the Father’s legitimate child, the Father may seek legal and physical custody of the child. The minor kid will also be eligible to inherit from the Father. If the Father has not previously been compelled to pay child support via the Department of Human Services or another civil action, he will be required to do so at this stage.
Visitation and Custody
Following the approval of the Petition for Legitimation, the next stage is to determine legal and physical possession of the child. In certain situations, the child’s father will be given primary physical custody. In some instances, the child’s mother may have primary physical custody. In a few rare instances, the parties may be granted shared or equal custody of the kid. Joint custody is more common in progressive counties like Fulton County, although it may also be granted in other Metro Atlanta counties.
If joint legal custody is granted, the child’s legal custody will be split between the parents. Medical and educational data will be accessible to both parents. On the other hand, in most cases, one parent will be given ultimate control over schooling, religion, non-emergency medical choices, and extracurricular activities. One of the primary reasons the court may still demand a tie-breaker on major judgments is to prevent the parties from having to go back to court over their child’s concerns.
The parties’ relationship, as well as their connection with the kid, will be forever changed by physical and legal custody. It is critical that you contemplate where you and your kid will be in the future.
Every incidence of Legitimacy is unique. A judge’s judgment on whether or not to legitimate a kid is based on a number of considerations. There are even more elements to consider when awarding a party legal and physical custody.
You may also petition for custody and visitation rights when you try to legitimize your kid. It is not necessary for the procedure to be controversial. If both the mother and the father agree to a paternity plan in a settlement agreement, the arrangement may be presented to the Judge for approval without the need for costly litigation. A consent legitimation and consent joint custody agreement may benefit both the mother and the father since it allows the father to place the kid on his health insurance, for example, and it may also involve a name change for the child.
What is the point of legitimizing children?
Children’s dads are encouraged to officially acknowledge their children under the law. This is accomplished via the legitimization process. It bestows certain privileges on the father and the kid. Legitimization refers to the ability for a kid to inherit from his father and for the father to inherit from his child.
Is it possible to legitimize a kid born out of wedlock?
A kid may be legally recognized in three ways. The first method is for the mother and the alleged father to marry, after which the father will acknowledge the kid as his.
The second option is for both the mother and the father to sign a paternity acknowledgment form. “In any voluntary admission of paternity which has been made and has not been revoked according to Code Section 19-7-46.1, the child may be legitimated by the insertion of a declaration indicating a voluntary acknowledgment of legitimation,” according to O.C.G.A. 19-7-22(g)(2). Contact the Georgia Paternity Acknowledgment program at 1-866-296-8262 for additional information on how to sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity.
The father might submit a legitimation petition in Superior Court as the third route to legitimize a kid.
What steps do I need to take to get a certified copy of my child’s signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity?
The Georgia Department of Vital Records may be contacted at 2600 Skyland Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30319. Your request must include the following items:
1. The person’s full name as it appears on their birth certificate (last name at birth if female)
2. Birthdate (month, day, year)
(3) Birthplace (city, county),
4. Age at this point
5. Relationship status
7. Mother’s full name (including maiden name if applicable)
2nd father’s full name
9. Relationship to the individual whose name appears on the birth certificate
10. The quantity of certified copies that have been requested.
A copy of the birth certificate is number eleven.
12. A photocopy of the applicant’s driver’s license
13. A $10 money order for each certified copy that is requested.
How does a guy go about petitioning a superior or state court for legitimation?
The father must first file a petition in “the county of the residence of the child’s mother or other party having legal custody or guardianship of the child; provided, however, that if the mother or other party having legal custody or guardianship of the child resides outside the state or cannot be found within the state after due diligence, the petition may be filed in the county of the father’s residence or the county of the child’s residence.” If the kid is being adopted, the father must submit a petition for legitimation in the same county as the adoption petition.” 19-7-22 (OCGA). The mother of the child must be added to the petition as a party, served with a copy, and given an opportunity to be heard.
A father’s right to legitimize a kid is not absolute. When deciding whether or not to grant legitimization, the Court will take into account the minor’s best interests.
If the court feels the petition was submitted to harass or interfere with the mother’s life, the petition may be denied.
What is the significance of legitimization?
The Court will issue an order pronouncing the kid legitimate and capable of inheriting from the father, as if the child were born during a marriage.
The Judge will evaluate the father’s obligation to support the kid throughout the legitimization process. In addition, depending on the child’s best interests, the Court may award visitation and/or custody. The Court has the authority to change the child’s name to the father’s, but it has broad discretion in doing so.
Is it possible for the father to request custody in addition to legitimization?
Until July 1, 2005, a father could only gain custody of his child if the mother agreed. On July 1, 2005, the Georgia Legislature amended O.C.G.A. 19-7-22 to enable a father to seek custody of his child in a legitimization proceeding.
Isn’t it enough to prove paternity once paternity has been established?
No, determining that a person is the father of a child in a paternity case does not constitute legitimization. Paternity establishes the biological father’s identity as well as his obligation to maintain his kid. It may establish custody after July 1, 2005.