Legitimation cases are often confusing and difficult to understand. Here, we’ll demystify the legitimation process for you and give some advice on how to decide if this is the right course of action for your family law issue.
What is Legitimation?
Legitimation is the legal process that grants parental rights to the biological father of a child born out of wedlock. It is the only way the father can establish a legal relationship with the child, besides wedding the child’s mother.
What Are Some Benefits of Legitimation?
There are a few primary benefits to legitimation:
- The father gains legal rights and responsibilities for the child
- The child can inherit from the father
- The father can seek visitation or custody of the child
- The mother cannot put the child up for adoption without the father’s consent.
What Are Some Disadvantages to Legitimation?
There are also a few primary disadvantages that arise from legitimating your relationship with your biological child:
- It takes time before all parental rights and responsibilities can be transferred over, so if the father needs to take immediate action, legitimation may not be the best route
- The child’s mother does have some say in the process and can refuse to sign any affiliation or acknowledgment documents
- If the relationship between the father and child is contentious, this could create more tension and conflict.
What Factors Impact a Petition to Legitimate
Before a father can gain any physical or legal custodial rights, they must legitimate the child. In Georgia, the courts will consider the following factors before legitimating the child:
- The child’s best interest.
- Whether the mother is consenting to the process.
- If the father is fit to raise a child.
- Whether legitimation would be beneficial for the relationship between parent and child.
How Do I know if Legitimation is the Right Step for Me?
The best way to answer this question is to speak with a Legitimation Attorney who specializes in Family Law like those at the Bell & Washington Law Firm.
At Bell & Washington, we understand how bewildering legitimation cases can be. If you’re looking for answers about how to handle your legitimation case, we’re here and happy to help.
We can discuss the legitimation process with you in-depth during a consultation and help you weigh all of the pros and cons of legitimation. We will give you specific advice on your individual case and discuss the next steps that come after legitimation happens.
What Can I Expect from a Consultation?
At the initial consultation, we will spend 60-90 minutes meeting with you and answering any questions or concerns that you may have about legitimation cases in general as well as your specific case.
We will also provide you with a written fee agreement so that you know what to expect financially from us. After the consultation, we will always be available via email or telephone for any additional questions that you may have.
If you need an experienced legitimation lawyer in Atlanta, call the Bell & Washington Family Law Firm today at 404.437.6641. We will be glad to help you and answer any questions that you may have about legitimation cases in Atlanta, Georgia.