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Understanding Your Rights As A Father

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Fathers play an indispensable role in the lives of their children. As a father, you deserve to be involved in raising your children. You deserve to spend time with them and have a say in their upbringing.

During divorce or separation, many fathers feel they’re at a disadvantage. Yet Georgia law grants fathers and mothers equal rights when it comes to child custody. The challenge lies in how to present a strong case based on your commitment to the children and your involvement in their lives.

Making Sure Your Voice Is Heard

At Family Lawyers of Atlanta, we’ve successfully fought for the rights of fathers in numerous custody cases. We understand how frustrating and unfair the process can seem. With our attorney as your advocate, you can feel confident your voice will be heard.

You May Have More Rights Than You Think

Your rights as a father extend beyond just divorce or separation. You also have important rights as an unmarried father. Here are just a few of the rights fathers often don’t know they have:

  • You have the right to establish legal fatherhood through legitimation proceedings. As part of those proceedings, you can also request child custody and visitation rights.
  • During the legitimation process, you have the right to request that your child take your last name. You can also request that your name be reflected on his or her birth certificate.
  • Even if you didn’t have significant involvement in your child’s life up until now, you may still be entitled to visitation. This will give you a valuable opportunity to build a stronger bond with your child.

Whatever your situation, we will walk you through the rights and options available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding A Father’s Rights

In the state of Georgia, if a child is born out of wedlock and you are the biological father, there can be a lot of questions about your rights and obligations. Some of the most frequently asked questions are answered below. Our firm offers a free, initial consultation to answer any specific questions you may have.

If my name is on the child’s birth certificate, does that mean I have to pay child support?

Yes. When your name is on a child’s birth certificate, it can be used to establish paternity. When paternity is established, there is a parental responsibility to provide financial support for the child.

Can my child’s mother remove me from the birth certificate?

No. Once your name is on a birth certificate as the father of a child, it cannot be removed unless the court determines that you are not the biological father of the child. In the event that the court determines you are not the biological father, it can order that your name be removed from the child’s birth certificate.

As long as my name is on the birth certificate, can I assume that I have parental rights?

No. When you sign the birth certificate as the father of the child, it does help to establish paternity. But if you are not married to the child’s mother, it does not give you any custody rights. In order to get legal and physical custody rights, you must go through the legitimation process.

What is the legitimation process and what does it do?

When a child is born out of wedlock in the state of Georgia, that child is considered illegitimate and the mother has sole custody rights. A legitimation petition allows a biological father to seek custody rights. A petition for legitimation must be filed in the mother’s county of residence and can only be filed by the child’s biological father. Once the court declares that the child is the legitimate child of the father, the father can seek legal and physical custody rights.

Do you still have questions? We encourage you to check out our child custody FAQ page or our page highlighting what you need to prepare for child custody proceedings in Georgia. Both pages offer great information that can help answer some of your questions before you decide to contact our firm.

Get Personalized Advice From Our Skilled Attorney

Of course, every situation is different. Our lawyer offers free initial consultations so you can get a better sense of the legal framework involved in your case. To get started with your consultation, call our main office in Roswell at 404-418-7777 or send us an email. We also have four additional offices for your convenience: Atlanta, Marietta, Duluth and Snellville. If you are unavailable to meet during business hours, we offer evening and weekend appointments upon request.

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