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Atlanta Divorce Lawyer > Forsyth County Paternity Lawyer

Georgia law provides that parents have rights and responsibilities with regards to children, but these do not always arise out of a marriage. Regardless of whether parents maintain an intact relationship, paternity is central to determining child support obligations. Plus, parentage also encompasses the associated concepts of legitimation, i.e., the relationship between father and child. Therefore, there may be implications for custody and visitation whenever the paternity question comes up.

Because of the financial duties and impacts on parent-child relationships, it is wise to rely on skilled legal counsel for assistance with Georgia paternity matters. Our attorneys at Buckhead Family Law have the experience and knowledge to support your rights, so please contact our office to set up a consultation today. A Forsyth County paternity lawyer can provide details customized to your situation, but a synopsis of state parentage laws may be useful.

At the outset, you should note that paternity is a process through which the identity of the father is determined for purposes of child support. Legitimation is a legal proceeding that recognizes the relationship between the child and father, and which may give rise to child custody and visitation rights. 

There is a legal presumption regarding paternity when a child’s parents are married and/or the father’s name appears on the birth certificate. However, in the absence of such circumstances, paternity can be established through:

  • Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP): Unmarried parents can establish paternity through mutual asset by completing and signing a VAP form. This can be accomplished via the hospital upon the child’s birth or later by submitting it officials in the county where the child was born.
  • Paternity Lawsuit: The mother, child, alleged father, or government agency providing public assistance can initiate proceedings under Georgia’s statute on petitioning for paternity. All interested parties have the opportunity to present evidence, including DNA test results. The court will enter an order after reviewing the evidence.

Regardless of which method for establishing paternity, the end result is that the father will be financially obligated for child support according to Georgia statutory guidelines. You must go through legitimation to exercise custody and visitation, which may be a streamlined process once paternity is already established. 

The attorneys at Buckhead Family Law team have extensive experience representing clients in paternity actions, so we are knowledgeable in strategies to advance the interests of mothers, fathers, and other relevant parties. We will gather essential evidence, including DNA testing, to support your position in a paternity lawsuit. Our team can also assist with legitimation to protect your parental rights.

While this information about parentage laws may be helpful, it should also convince you of how important it is to retain solid legal representation. For more information, please contact Buckhead Family Law to schedule a consultation with an experienced Georgia paternity attorney. You can reach our office by calling 470-600-6699 or visiting our website. Once we review your circumstances, we can determine strategy and next steps.

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