Child Custody for Unmarried Parents in Atlanta, GA

When it comes to child custody laws in Georgia, the judge will generally approach a case the same way whether the parents are married or not. The law might not discriminate, but some additional challenges and issues can arise when unmarried parents are involved in custody disputes.

When you have questions about child custody for unmarried parents in Atlanta, GA, bringing them to our trusted custody attorneys ensures you understand your rights and responsibilities. Let our team help you navigate this complex aspect of parenting and advocate for what is best for your family.

Addressing Questions of Paternity Between Unmarried Parents

One of the major issues that may arise between unmarried parents in Atlanta, GA is the question of paternity. When a child is born to a mother who is married, there is a presumption under the law that the husband is the father. In these cases, the father’s parental rights are already established to some degree.

Things are often different for unmarried parents. Even when there is little doubt about the identity of the father, there must be a legal finding of paternity for the rights and obligations of parenthood to apply.

Either party may pursue a paternity action. This type of lawsuit has one goal in mind: to legally determine the identity of the child’s father. The judge, in these cases, typically orders a DNA test and issues an order of paternity if there is a match.

Once this order is in place, the father faces the obligations of being a parent. They also have the right to pursue child custody or visitation rights, although those are never guaranteed.

Does the Name on a Birth Certificate Play a Role in Child Custody?

It is not enough for a father to be listed on a child’s birth certificate. While this is a helpful first step in the process, it does not automatically provide a father with legal rights as a parent. Until paternity is established, the right to custody of the child is entirely with the mother. It is enough to require the father to pay child support, however.

Once a parent establishes paternity, both parties have an equal opportunity to seek custody or visitation over their shared child. When determining child custody for unmarried parents in Atlanta, the family court does not favor one parent or the other based on gender. Instead, the judge takes into account a child’s best interests.

There are different factors the judge will ultimately rely on when deciding this issue. While the judge will consider the wishes of the child and each parent, the primary factors considered in these cases include the suitability of each parent, the health of all parties involved, and any prior history of abuse.

Let Us Answer Your Questions About Child Custody for Unmarried Parents in Atlanta, GA

Child custody and visitation disputes are often challenging and contentious. Our trusted attorneys can make sure your rights are protected every step of the way, from establishing paternity to litigating custody issues.

Let an attorney help you navigate the complexities of child custody for unmarried parents in Atlanta, GA. Call our firm today to learn more.

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