Legitimation and Fathers Rights Atlanta Attorney We Can Help You Secure a Place in Your Child’s Life Having a child out of wedlock can put the father in a pretty tough position. You want to do what’s right and be there for your child, but also understand that your rights can vanish in an instant. Regardless of what spoken agreement or arrangement a father has with the mother of their child, pursing legal Legitimation is the only way to ensure your rights as a father are protected. Hobson & Hobson Helps Dads Protect Their Legal Rights Unlike married fathers, whose rights are established upon the birth of the child, the Father of a child born out of wedlock must initiate legal action to establish those rights. Once the legal relationship is established through a Court order, the Father is granted the following rights: A legal child-father relationship in the eyes of the law The right to be listed on the birth certificate The right to have the child inherit from the father The right for the father to assert visitation and custody rights Parenting time with the child Legal rights to have decision making authority on issues related to education, extracurriculars, medical and religion Frequently Asked Questions Q Do I need Legitimation if my Name is on the Birth Certificate? A YES. We can not be clearer about this: The father’s name on the birth certificate does not grant you any legal standing or rights. Only the legal legitimation process can secure your legal rights to play a role in your child’s life. Q How Long Does the Legitimization Process Typically Take? A It depends on the situation you are in and the mother’s willingness to agree to the legitimization. If the mother agrees - Then it's just a matter of preparing, signing and filing the paperwork. This process can be completed in as little as a few days. If the mother, or another potential father disputes the legitimization, it can become more complex. There are cases where discovery (making evidence available) and even a trial may be possible. These cases are far more complex. In cases where there is a contested legitimization process and the father is also looking to establish custody the process can get very complex very quickly. Q We Had a Paternity Test. Do I Still Need Legitimation? A YES. While a paternity test may be enough for the mother to establish a child support case to collect from the father, that still does not give you legal rights as a parent. Take Your First Step Contact us Ready to Get Started? We can help. We can guide you through the consultation process starting with a scheduled call back from a member of our intake team. If you would prefer to speak directly and confidently with an attorney, a paid hour consultation is also available. To arrange a meeting, contact us today.