What Is Legitimation?
In Georgia, if a child is born to parents who are not married, legitimation is the state’s method for a father to establish legal rights. This is more than just a DNA test to establish paternity. Without this process, the father has no legal rights regarding his child, even if he is listed on the child’s birth certificate. Only fathers can file a petition for legitimation.
If you are looking to establish your rights as a father, you will need a skilled family law attorney to guide you through the process. At D. Charles Fulcher, Attorney at Law, LLC, we help families throughout Northern Georgia find the legal solutions they are looking for. Our founding attorney, Charles Fulcher, has over 10 years of fighting for people’s legal rights. Our goal is to be accessible and responsive to your needs throughout the process.
Why Pursue Legitimation?
If both parents are still together, or you already have a custody and support arrangement, you may wonder why you would need to bother with the legitimation process. Through legitimation, you can:
- Enable the child to inherit from the father
- List the father on the birth certificate
- Have the child’s last name changed
- Legally establish a father-child relationship
- Pursue visitation and custody or child support
To start the process, you must file a petition in the mother’s (or other legal guardian’s) county of residence. No one knows what the future will bring, but you want to be sure to do what is best for your child. Formalizing your child’s legal relationship with their father brings certainty and stability to your child’s life, as well as your own. We will help you through this process, answering your questions and advocating for you at every step.