An unmarried father's parental rights are established through a petition for Legitimation. If paternity has not been previously established, the father may file a combined petition to establish Paternity and Legitimacy. If the mother brings a petition to establish Paternity, the father may bring a counterclaim to establish Legitimacy in the event that Paternity is established. Without the establishment of Legitimacy by court order, the unmarried father has absolutely no parental rights whatsoever.
Legitimacy is presumed to be in the best interest of the child. Only in rare and severe situations will Legitimacy be denied. With the establishment of Legitimacy, the child may be given the father's last name and becomes entitled to inherit from the father. The father will gain certain Visitation rights and possibly shared Legal Custody rights.
If you would like to discuss your case, call or email for a free, confidential consultation.
160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 200
Decatur, GA 30030
Mon: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Tue: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Wed: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Thu: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00PM