The matter of paternity can arise in various contexts, particularly in actions involving child custody and support. Whether you are facing a paternity case brought against you or are looking to establish paternity, you should only do so with the guidance and vigilant representation that an experienced child custody attorney can provide.
A Fulton County paternity lawyer can help you better understand your rights and responsibilities in the context of a prospective or ongoing paternity action. Let our team represent your interests, from managing the appropriate court filings to advocating your case before the judge.
There are several methods to establish paternity in Fulton County, and the process largely depends on the underlying circumstances involved as well as the marital status of the child’s parents. For example, one of the most common situations in which paternity is established is when a married couple has a child together. Unless there is doubt about the child’s parentage, paternity will be supposed. No additional action will be required through the family courts to establish this process.
In other circumstances, a child may be born to a married couple, but the child’s paternity is in question. In that case, it may be necessary to go through a series of court procedures, including DNA testing, to formalize or negate an assumption of paternity.
There are also many instances where a child is born to unmarried biological parents. In this situation, two primary routes are typically available to formalize paternity. Assuming both parties agree as to the paternity of the child, the mother and father can sign the paternity acknowledgment form. However, the situation becomes complicated when the child’s paternity is uncertain, or the alleged father or the child’s mother disagrees about paternity.
When a child’s paternity is in question, the next step will typically be turning to the Georgia family courts. The mother or the alleged father has standing to bring a paternity suit. In some cases, even a third party, such as the state’s Department of Human Services, may bring such an action. The judge may order that the child, the mother, and the presumed father submit to DNA testing to formally decide paternity. In any scenario where paternity is not presumed, working with a Fulton County attorney is helpful to fully understanding one’s rights and responsibilities.
When the family courts establish paternity, the father can be held accountable for child support. At the same time, establishing paternity also means that the father can file a legitimation action, formalizing the ability to request custody and visitation privileges.
Many factors can ultimately impact the assessment of child support as well as the granting of any custodial or visitation privileges. In terms of child support, the incomes of both parents, the underlying custody arrangement, and any factors such as the child’s specific needs can impact the final amount the court assigns.
Factors determining custody and visitation privileges are wide-ranging, and the child’s best interests will remain the guiding principle that Georgia courts consider. Some examples of factors that the judge will commonly consider include:
A Fulton County attorney can assist with various legal actions that accompany your paternity case, including managing aspects like child support and custody requests.
An establishment of paternity may allow a father to seek access to their child through custody or visitation. It could also lead to the imposition of certain legal obligations, such as the need to pay child support on an ongoing basis.
A Fulton County paternity lawyer can help you avoid potential missteps when you are facing a paternity case. Our firm can also work tirelessly to ensure your rights and concerns are fully addressed. Contact the office today to schedule your legal consultation with a skilled member of our team.