Ask an Atlanta Paternity Lawyer: What is Paternity?
Paternity is when a father legally recognizes their child. This circumstance can happen through marriage or a court order that says the man is the biological parent of a child born outside of his marriage to another woman. Establishing paternity is crucial for a number of reasons, including the benefits to the child of having a legal relationship with both parents, as well as for receiving health care and financial support.
In Georgia, there are three basic tenets at the heart of paternity cases, and they are child custody, visitation, and support. The court will make a determination about each of these issues based on the best interests of the child.
The Father’s Rights
Under Georgia’s paternity and legitimization law, the rights of the unmarried man as the father are clear and recognized by the law. As such, a father can establish paternity—even if he is not named on the birth certificate—as long as he takes some legal action to do so. This process may involve filing a petition with the court or signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. If you are a father and need help filing a petition with the courts, our team of experienced Atlanta paternity lawyers can help.
The Mother’s Rights
A father’s responsibility to financially support his children only begins when paternity has been established. If you are a mother and the father of the child is denying that he is the father, you have certain rights. That includes the right to bring a paternity action in court and demand that the father be ordered to pay child support.
This is a case where a man is tricked into signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity or becomes the legal father of a child when he is not the biological father. If you believe that you may have been a victim of paternity fraud, it is important to contact a paternity lawyer right away. The Atlanta paternity lawyers at Washington, Dreyer & Associates can help you determine your legal options and protect your rights.
What Tests are Used to Establish Paternity in Georgia?
In Georgia, a DNA test is used to establish paternity, and results are often used for important legal purposes, such as child support, validating claims for Social Security benefits and inheritances. The father doesn’t have to be present and can submit a DNA specimen from anywhere in the world too. If the father is missing or deceased, there are other options available for establishing paternity, such as testing a family member or family reconstruction.
Paternity and Child Support
The obligation of the father to support his child is legally recognized in Georgia. That means that he must provide financial assistance for their children’s needs, even if he and the mother never lived together or shared any responsibility in raising them. These obligations include paying hospital bills and medical costs, providing clothes, food and shelter, buying school supplies, and supporting extracurricular activities.
Contact the Atlanta Paternity Lawyers at the Washington, Dreyer & Associates Law Firm Today
If you are barred from visiting your child, or if you are a mother who wants proof of your child’s parentage for legal purposes, then the Washington, Dreyer & Associates family law firm is here for you.
Our Atlanta paternity lawyers can help you establish paternity and custody rights for your children. With more than 50 years of combined experience in family law, we will fight for what’s right and are very skilled at what we do. If you would like to learn more, please get in touch with us at 404.996.1794 for an initial consultation. You can also fill out our contact form, and we will be happy to get back in touch with you.