Legitimation in Georgia

In the legitimation process, a father claims parentage of a child born in a non-married relationship. In Georgia, the establishment of paternity allows the court to force a man to support the child, while legitimation allows a child to inherit property from the father. Without the legitimation process, only the child’s mother has custody rights.

Children Born Out Of Wedlock

A child born in Georgia is considered “born out of wedlock” if his or her parents aren’t married at the time of birth, and if the child is not legitimized. If parents get an annulment after the birth, the child is still legitimate. In cases where children are conceived through artificial insemination, they’re presumed to be legitimate.

Legitimizing a Child Born Out of Wedlock

If mother and father weren’t married at the time of a child’s birth, or within the prior nine months, the father can legitimize the child by marrying his or her mother. With children under a year old, fathers can legitimize a child by signing an acknowledgment form. The mother must sign the form as well, before it’s notarized and sent to the State Office of Vital Records.

If the mother was married at the time of birth or in the nine months before, to someone not the biological father, that man cannot legitimize a child just by signing a paternity acknowledgment because the mother’s current or former husband is the presumptive father.

Biological Fathers’ Custody Rights

A biological father would have to establish paternity and should contact Website Domain for help in filing a Legitimation petition in court. The mother’s current or ex husband can challenge that petition, unless he divorced the mother on the grounds of adultery. The mother can challenge the petition as long as she still has parental rights.

Overcoming the assumption that a mother’s former or current husband is the father of child born out of wedlock is difficult. Courts won’t allow mothers to deny fatherhood to their husbands if paternity was acknowledged in divorce papers. In similar circumstances, biological fathers can’t challenge the presumption if they marry the mother after a divorce.

Even if a mother is unmarried at the time of her child’s birth and paternity is established through DNA, the father doesn’t have the automatic right to have his legitimation petition granted. As in all family court matters, the child’s best interests are a primary concern.

You can find more info at Website Domain.