Legitimation in Cherokee County, Georgia
Each year, there are many people who are in need of legitimation information for Cherokee County, Georgia and beyond. If you need the information, you are not alone. This page should answer many of the legitimation in Cherokee County questions that you have. You will find the basic information regarding filing for legitimation, what it is, why you may need it, and how you go about filing for it. You will also learn what an attorney can do to help you with this process. There are also some frequently asked questions that may be helpful.
Quick Facts About Legitimation in Cherokee County:
- You will file for legitimation in Cherokee County if the mother/guardian of your child resides in that county. You can also file in that county if the mother/guardian lived in that county and has moved out of state, but it has been less than six months since she moved.
- If you were not married to the mother of your child when the child was born and did not marry her after that point, then you have no legal rights to the child until you establish legitimation. Being on the child’s birth certificate and/or having a paternity test that proves you are the father does not give you legal rights to child. The only thing that will give you legal rights to the child is to establish legitimation or to marry the mother.
- Only the biological father of the child can file the Petition for Legitimation regarding a child who was born out of wedlock. The mother cannot file the petition.
- When filing the Petition for Legitimation, you will file the form for either uncontested legitimation or for contested legitimation. Uncontested means that the mother/guardian will sign and you have both agreed to a parenting plan. This is the easiest way to establish legitimation. Contested legitimation means that the mother/guardian is not willing to sign or agree to a parenting plan. If the case is contested, the mother/guardian will be served by the sheriff.
- The Petition for Legitimation can be obtained by and will be filed with the Superior Court of Cherokee County. It is highly advisable that you work with an attorney for the legitimation process.
- Once legitimation is established, you will be required to attend a parenting seminar.
- There is a fee to file the petition. For the current filing fee, call the Superior Court at 678-493-6511.
Forms Needed for Legitimation in Cherokee County
When filing the paperwork for legitimation in Cherokee County, you must fill out every section accurately. The forms included in the legitimation packet include:
- Case Filing Information Form
- Navigating Family Change Parenting Seminar
- Petition for Legitimation and Custody/Visitation
If you are not addressing issues of custody, visitation and support, and are only legitimating, you may not need the following forms:
- “Exhibit A” – Visitation Schedule
- Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit
- Certificate of Service
There are additional forms that may be necessary, depending on your personal situation. These include:
- Domestic Relations Case Filing
- Domestic Relations Disposition
- Sheriff’s Entry of Service
What You Need to Know About Filing for Legitimation in Cherokee County
If you are filing for legitimation in Cherokee County, there is a good chance you have questions. Most people do, so know that you are not alone. Many people have questions about what legitimation is, how the process works, and how to file the forms properly. The more you know about the issue, the better position you will be in to move forward with legitimation.
Legitimation is the process that a father of a child born out of wedlock needs to take in order for him to have legal rights to his child. When a child is born out of wedlock, even if his name is on the birth certificate as the father, the state of Georgia does not give him legal rights to the child until legitimation has taken place. If the parents did not marry, then the father does not have legal rights to the child without legitimation. This is the case even if a paternity test has been done to prove that he is the father.
It is important to note that if the child was born out of wedlock and the parents married after the birth, then the child is already considered to be legitimate. In that case, you would not need to petition for legitimation. The same goes for if the parents married during the pregnancy. The only time the father needs to file for legitimation is when the child was born to parents who were not married at the time of the birth or who did not get married after the child was born.
How to Legitimate a Child in Cherokee County
To legally legitimate a child in Cherokee County, you need to file the Petition for Legitimation at the Superior Court. Once the petition has been filed, the mother will be served by the sheriff if she has not already signed a consent or waiver. If you do not know where the mother lives, then she will be served with a Petition by publication. The length of the process that the legitimation takes depends on certain factors, such as if another father is listed on the birth certificate, if the mother must be served by publication, and if there are custody issues.
Why Petition for Legitimation
Even for those men who may have taken a paternity test to prove they are the father, it is important to take the steps toward legitimation. A paternity test could be used to ensure that you pay child support, for example, but it doesn’t guarantee any legal rights to the child, including visitation. There are other important reasons to establish legitimation, including if something were to happen to the mother. If the mother died, for example, the child could be put into someone else’s custody, rather than go to the father. If you would like to get custody of the child or have visitation rights, you need to first start by establishing legitimation.
Should you hire an attorney or file yourself?
You do have the option of filing the Petition for Legitimation on your own. However, working with an attorney may be the safest option. Legitimating your child is an important matter, and you need everything to go in your favor. The best way to ensure that everything is filed correctly and that everything has been done to help protect you is to work with an attorney who will have your best interest in mind. Consult with an attorney experienced in Georgia divorce and family law.