How to Get Parental Rights as a Father if You are Not Married to the Child’s Mother

In Georgia, a voluntary declaration of paternity or a DNA test showing your genetic relationship to the child is not enough; if you were not married to the child’s mother when the child was born, you must legally legitimate the child before you can have any right to parenting time or decision-making authority about the child’s upbringing.

Georgia’s family court system aims to help children have a strong relationship with both of their parents, even if the parents are not married to each other. When couples divorce, the court issues a parenting plan, a court order detailing the parents’ responsibilities toward any children born or adopted during the marriage who were minors when the parents divorced. The parenting plan indicates how much physical custody (how many days of parenting time per year) and how much legal custody (childrearing decisions about which the parent has the final say) each parent gets. If the mother is unmarried when the child is born, the default option is that she has 100% of the physical and legal custody. If you are not married to your child’s mother, you must go through the legal process of legitimating your child before the court recognizes your parental rights. The Norcross child custody lawyers at Zimmerman & Associates can help you do this.

What is the Difference Between Paternity Testing, Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, and Legitimation?

The family courts in Georgia offer various processes of establishing relationships between fathers and children; each of these has its own legal purpose:

Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Establishing Legal Paternity in Georgia

An Atlanta child custody lawyer can help you legitimate your child so that you have the right to shared custody of the child. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia to set up a consultation.