Today I'll be talking about legitimation. I had a man come in to me, he was paying child support through the court system. The child had his last name and he was on the birth certificate, but the mother was not letting him see the child and he was completely frustrated. I had to tell him, "You know, right now, even though your name is on the birth certificate and the child has your last name, and you're paying child support, you have no legal rights to this child."
In Georgia, in order for a man who's not married to the mother of the child, to establish those rights, he has to file what's called, a legitimation action. Within the legitimation action, he can then establish custody, visitation, child support and, if he's not on the birth certificate, he can be added to the birth certificate, and he can have the child's last name changed to reflect his last name.
So in this case, we filed the legitimation action. We were not able to resolve things with the mother without having to go to court. We went to court and we had a trial. The father did establish his legal rights to the child, the child's legal rights to him and custody. He has joint custody. He now has a set visitation order, so that the mother can no longer frustrate him with that. And, in addition, we proved that the numbers used in the first child support order were not accurate and we were able to reduce his child support significantly. So he's a very happy father.
I hope this helps if you're in the same situation and you're looking at trying to end the frustration, get access to your child and establish legal rights.
Nedra K. Howard, P.C., a law firm where families matter.
Nedra K. Howard
Nedra has represented clients in matters relating to divorce, separate maintenance, child custody and support, family violence protective orders, adoption, prenuptial agreements, business disputes and litigation, personal injury, property damage, and wills.
John B. MIller & Associates, P.C.
16 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 201
Peachtree City, GA 30269
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770 - 863 - 8355