Establishing paternity is a crucial part of many child custody cases and child support cases. There are certain rights and duties that come with parenthood, but those only apply to fathers once a court establishes legal paternity.
Either parent has the right to establish paternity with the help of a seasoned custody attorney. Depending on the relationship between the parents, this process can occur in different ways. The guidance of a Milton paternity lawyer can be an asset to you during this time. Call the Atlanta Divorce Law Group today to speak with a dedicated legal advocate from our team.
The following individuals have the right to pursue a paternity case:
Once the family court establishes paternity, the father of a child has all of the rights and responsibilities that come with parenthood. This process is also important because the judge can only enforce child support orders when a parent establishes their child’s paternity. An experienced Milton paternity attorney can assist with this process. Reach out to our team today to get the answers you need.
In Georgia, interested parties have more than one way to establish paternity under state law. Some options are simpler than others, but they generally require both people to be on the same page. A Milton paternity attorney can help narrow down the best option for any situation.
The simplest way to establish a child’s paternity in Georgia is by voluntarily acknowledging it. When both parents agree on the identity of the father, they can establish paternity by signing a form and submitting it to the state. This is common practice at the hospital after the birth of a child.
However, there are some circumstances where this is not an option. Specifically, voluntary acknowledgment is not allowed if the mother was married to another man within 10 months of the birth of the child. Likewise, it is often not plausible for parents who are not on good terms.
When the parents cannot—or will not—voluntarily acknowledge the paternity of a minor child, the issue is left up to the family court system. Either biological parent or the guardian of the child can petition the court, which will then order a DNA test. The DNA test will determine questions of paternity. If the results make it clear that the man in question is the father of the child, Georgia courts will issue an order establishing paternity. This order is enough to allow the parent to exercise their rights and face the responsibilities of parenthood.
While uncommon, there are situations where litigation is necessary in paternity cases. DNA matches are not always clear, although a case where the match is at least 97 percent certain must overcome a presumption that the man in the case is the father.
Paternity cases can be complex and contentious, but the outcome is critical for everyone involved. With the right legal counsel from a skilled family law firm, you can determine the appropriate next steps for your child and their relationship with both of their parents. Call a Milton paternity lawyer today to get started.