Paternity Lawyers in Atlanta, GA — Helping Establish Parental Rights and Obligations
Family law in Georgia can be incredibly complex. However, establishing paternity often proves to be the most complicated issue. Thanks to strict statutes in these family law cases, those who wish to establish parental rights and responsibilities often run into difficulties. Fortunately, this is not a process you have to go through on your own. If you need assistance in such matters, a paternity lawyer in Atlanta, GA, may be able to help.
At the Family Lawyers of Atlanta, our team of experienced legal professionals knows how stressful these situations can be. Perhaps you and your partner simply want to establish yourselves as the legal parents, or maybe you’re involved in a dispute that has turned ugly. Regardless of the circumstances you’re facing, our Georgia family law attorneys can assist with this endeavor. Contact our Atlanta paternity lawyers today for a free consultation.
How Is Paternity Established in Georgia?
Whether you need to identify a child’s biological father or establish rights and responsibilities for a known parent, there are several ways to do so in Georgia. However, not all of these approaches will be right for your situation. In fact, some of these strategies will be wholly unavailable to many. However, understanding each of the following options will give individuals a better understanding of how to move forward with paternity cases:
- Paternity testing: Parties can establish paternity by seeking a DNA test through the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). One of the parents will be responsible for this cost, but which party is responsible is based on the outcome of the test.
- Married parents: Any child born during a marriage is considered the legitimate offspring of both parties.
- Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Form: This form can be signed at the hospital after the child’s birth or later at the local or Atlanta Vital Records Office.
- Court order: A judge may establish parentage as an administrative or judicial order, separation agreement, or divorce decree.
While some of these approaches may seem straightforward, there are important nuances to understand about any paternity matter. For instance, what if infidelity means a husband is not the child’s father? What if a court order is issued, but it turns out the child’s biological father is someone else? What if one parent refuses to acknowledge parentage or meet their financial obligations? Clearly, these and other situations can turn complex. That’s why you should speak with a paternity attorney in Atlanta today.
Does Establishing Paternity Affect Child Custody and Visitation?
Many people who visit a family law lawyer do so because they need assistance getting child support. If a child currently has no legal biological father, their mother may have difficulty providing support. However, they might be concerned that resolving a paternity matter could result in altered child custody and visitation orders. Fathers may also be in a situation where they’re unsure if establishing paternity will grant them rights as a parent. Put simply; outcomes will vary based on unique circumstances.
In most cases, establishing parentage will have a significant effect on custody and visitation. While parents do have a financial obligation to care for their children, they also have parental rights. Georgia courts want youngsters to have relationships with their parents. This often means that at least visitation rights will be granted to a father. Of course, it’s also possible that custody issues could arise. However, it’s unlikely that a mother will lose custody unless the child’s well-being is in danger.
Clearly, identifying a child’s biological father — or establishing parentage — is more than just a way to secure child support. This is why you should discuss your situation with a paternity lawyer in Atlanta before doing anything. It’s crucial that you understand all your options, but more importantly, you need to understand the potential outcomes of the legal process you’re undertaking.
How Can an Experienced Family Law Attorney Assist?
You’ll occasionally find attorneys who deal primarily with paternity and parental rights. However, you will likely be better off working directly with a family law attorney. Yes, these lawyers handle much more than just issues related to parentage. So, how can experiencing spousal support, divorce, asset division, and other family law matters prove valuable to your case?
The simple fact is that many of these matters are interconnected. For instance, a divorce lawyer will typically deal with child custody, establishing paternity, terminating rights, and related issues on a daily basis. You deserve a legal professional who is knowledgeable in every area of family law, and that’s what you’ll find with the Atlanta paternity lawyers at the Family Lawyers of Atlanta.
Contact us today for your confidential consultation. We’re here to help.
Can Rights Be Terminated After You Establish Parental Rights?
Every so often, a family lawyer will hear from a client regarding the termination of parental rights. In Georgia, it is possible for such rights to be terminated by the courts. This can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. The process of involuntary termination is actually far simpler. If a judge believes that it’s best that a child’s biological father has no relationship with them, they can issue a court order that removes parental rights and obligations.
A voluntary termination can also be simple in some cases — such as when rights are being abandoned so a child can be adopted. However, matters are much more complicated outside of an adoption scenario. For instance, what if someone signed paternity acknowledgment papers but later discovered they were not the actual father? The child support amounts they’re paying may be unfair, and they might want to end this arrangement.
If you’ve found yourself in this or a similar scenario, it’s important to speak with a paternity lawyer in Atlanta. While voluntary termination can be difficult, it’s not altogether impossible. Let our family law attorneys assist during this process.
Contact Our Paternity Lawyers in Atlanta, GA Today
Establishing parentage in Georgia isn’t always about identifying a child’s biological father. In some cases, the father is already known and the relationship simply needs to be made official. In other situations, parties may need to go through the adoption process to garner legal rights. In still other instances, a person may worry that they’re raising a child that is not their own. Regardless of the position you’ve found yourself in, a Georgia family law attorney can help you prove paternity, establish parentage, and deal with related matters.
At the Family Lawyers of Atlanta, you’ll work with a dedicated legal professional who will work hard to secure the best possible outcome in your case. We know how stressful and difficult these matters can be, so we’re here to simplify the process for you. We can help you compel DNA tests, legitimate paternity, handle adoption issues, and more. Contact us today by calling (404) 418-7777 to schedule your free consultation. Our paternity lawyers in Atlanta, GA, are on standby and ready to assist.