470-947-2471 | Georgia Legitimation Attorneys

Georgia Legitimization Attorneys | Phone: 470-947-2471

Coleman Legal Group, LLC

Call 470-947-2471 now to speak with one of our experienced Legitimation Attorneys.

The only way, other than by marrying the mother of a child, that a father of a child born in the state of Georgia may establish legal rights to his child is by filing a legitimation legal action in Superior Court.

What Exactly Is Legitimacy?

If you are a male, married and have a child in Georgia, the court will immediately acknowledge you as the legal father with parental rights.  If you are a male, not married and have a kid out of wedlock you will not be considered under the law to be the legitimate / legal father of the child.  It is important to note, that merely being on the child’s birth certificate is not the same as being legitimized.  However, as the biological father can formally legitimize your legal connection with the child.  In doing so, you acquire the same privileges as a married father by demonstrating you are a legal parent.

How to Establish Legitimacy?

The first step is to establish legitimation, or prove that you are the biological father.  The best way of doing this is with a DNA test that is court admissible.  This test can be done before a case is filed with the court, or during the case by a courts order.  To become legitimated, the biological father must file a Petition for Legitimacy with the court.  The mother must be served with the case.  If the mother agrees with the legitimation , the case may be completed within a few months in many instances. However, in the event of a disputed legitimacy, the procedure will take longer.  Disputes may range from the actual fatherhood of the child, to parenting / visitation time, and/or the amount of child support to be paid.

Why Is Legitimacy So Important?

As previously mentioned, legitimation creates a legal father-child connection, allowing a father’s rights legal rights to be involved in the child’s life to be enjoyed without interference.  However, it has a number of additional benefits and results, such as:

  • The father’s name may appear the child’s birth certificate.
  • The father’s assets may be passed on to the child (and vice versa) as a legal heir.
  • The father may ask the court for parenting time and custody rights, which will generally include legal custody (decision making, etc.) and physical custody (time with the child).

The Georgia’s legitimation process is crucial for father’s that want to be involved with their child’s life.

Usually it is the father of the child petitioning the court to legitimate his child.

Frequently, unmarried fathers seek to be legitimation when their attempts to spend time with their child is thwarted by the mother.  In a successful legitimation case, a father can expect regular visitation with his child – but can also be expected to pay child support.  However, it is not uncommon for a father to file for the legitimation of his child and the mother found to be unfit (drug abuse, mental illness, homelessness, etc.).  In these cases, the father can expect to be made the primary physical and legal custodian of the child and will not be usually be required to pay any child support.  For additional information, See O.C.G.A. Sections 19-7-20 through 19-7-27. >

Almost all legitimation cases are successful, in that the father will be legitimated, be granted significant and regular visitation and be granted legal rights to his child(ren).

A Georgia Superior Court’s order of legitimation creates a father and child relationship legally between the petitioner and his child.  An order of legitimation establishes that the child may inherit from his/her legal father or the father can inherit from their child.  An order of legitimation allows the legal father to be listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father.  Many fathers incorrectly believe that merely being listed on the birth certificate at the father legitimates the child.  The father must still file a petition with the court to legitimate the child. A court’s order for legitimation is the only way that the father of a child born out of wedlock can be recognized as the legal father of a child and therefore can petition for custody and/or visitation with this child.

Custody and child support will almost always addressed as a part of the legitimation action.

It should be noted, if a child has been legitimated and the child’s mother dies, the father will not automatically be granted custody of the child.  So sometimes, a legitimation action needs to be filed in an otherwise healthy parenting relationship if the mother should pass away.  In Georgia, a legal action for legitimation should be filed in the Superior Court of the county where the child resides.  However, if there is an adoption pending regarding the child, the petition for legitimation should be filed in the county where the adoption was filed.

Divorce and Family Law – Georgia Areas We Serve

Our Georgia divorce lawyers and family law attorneys handle cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Duluth, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Sharon Springs, Suwanee, Marietta, Woodstock, Sandy Springs, Kennesaw, Gainesville, Midtown Atlanta, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Kennesaw, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, Smyrna, Buford, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Decatur, Grant Park, East Atlanta and the Virginia Highlands.

Our Georgia divorce lawyers and family law attorneys frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton.

Our main office is located in Alpharetta Georgia at: 11539 Park Woods Circle, Suite 304, Alpharetta, GA 30005.  We also have offices conveniently located at:

Alpharetta Georgia
Park Woods Commons
11539 Park Woods Circle
Suite 304
Alpharetta, GA 30005
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Atlanta Georgia
Colony Square
1201 Peachtree Street, 400
Colony Square, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Dunwoody, Sandy Springs
GA 400, Atlanta Georgia
1200 Abernathy Rd
Building 600
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Cumming Georgia
The Avenue Forsyth
410 Peachtree Parkway
Building 400, Suite 4245
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Johns Creek, Duluth GA
11555 Medlock Bridge Road
Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Duluth Georgia
2180 Satellite Boulevard
Suite 400
Duluth, GA 30097
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Kennesaw Georgia
TownPark Center
125 TownPark Drive
Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

1755 North Brown Road
Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

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Updated:  2022-09-15