Legitimation in Douglas County, Georgia
Looking for information on legitimation in Douglas County, Georgia? No problem! On this page you will find the basic information you need regarding legitimation in Douglas County. The information provided here includes the legitimation process, where to file, why you may want to file, and whether or not you should work with an attorney through the process. We have also included some frequently asked questions about filing for legitimation which you may find helpful.
Quick Facts About Legitimation in Douglas County:
- The Petition for Legitimation can be obtained through and will be filed with the Superior Court of Douglas County.
- The only person who can file the Petition for Legitimation is the father. The mother cannot file the petition.
- You will file for legitimation in Douglas 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.
- You will want to file for legitimation if you want legal rights to your child and you were never married to the mother. If you were not married to the mother of the child when the baby was born and did not marry her later on, then you have no legal rights to the child. This is true even if you are listed on the birth certificate as being the father and you have a paternity test that proves you are the father. In the state of Georgia, you will only have legal rights to your child once legitimation has been established.
- Legitimation may be contested or uncontested. 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.
- It is highly advisable that you work with an attorney for the legitimation process, especially if it is contested.
- Those establishing legitimation in Douglas County will be required to attend a four-hour parenting seminar.
- There is a fee to file the petition. For the current filing fee, call the Superior Court at 770-942-6571. .
Forms Needed for Legitimation in Douglas County
When filing the paperwork for legitimation in Douglas 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 Douglas County
If you are filing for legitimation in Douglas 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 Douglas County
To legally legitimate a child in Douglas 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.