Duluth Paternity Attorneys
If you have a child who was born out of wedlock, it’s unfortunately not that easy to establish your paternity nor to challenge it; hence, you need the legal expertise of a paternity attorney.
Completing the acknowledgment form is not something you can do, and then your paternity is already set on stone. This action will only ensure that your name will appear in the child’s birth certificate as the biological father and that child support will be deducted from your salary. Sadly, this doesn’t equate to you sharing your child’s custody.
Complicated and emotionally overwhelming are two things you can associate with paternity issues. To save yourself from the worse, acquiring expert help is highly advisable. That is where our skilled Duluth paternity attorneys will be able to aid you. We will handle various issues that can have a bearing on you, your child, and your child’s mother, such as custody, visitation, and child support.
Call Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. on (678) 504-8411 and hire our best paternity attorneys in Duluth now.
Under the family law of Georgia, only married couples are acknowledged as the parents of their children. If you happen to be the father of a child whose mother you are not married to before the child is born, it is almost certain that you have no legal rights to your child, nor will you find your name anywhere in his/her birth certificate.
To establish your paternity, there are three ways you can opt for per Georgia law. You can choose to do one of the following actions:
- Marry your child’s mother before the child is born.
- Sign a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment form once your child is born or shortly after his/her birth.
- Obtain a court order acknowledging you as your child’s biological father.
Issues on establishing paternity often arise when it’s already too late to choose the first option. When it comes to the second possible solution, you will find that the hospital where your child was born is instructed by the law to give unmarried parents the chance to sign the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment form. However, if your child was born somewhere else, the form can still be obtained from the local Vital Records Office or the State Office of Vital Records. Either way, both you and the mother of your child should sign the form before a notary public.
Upon signing the document, your child will be entitled to the following benefits:
- The child will have both parents with whom he/she can create an emotional bond.
- The child will have both parents that will financially support him/her.
- The child will have both parents appearing by name in his/her birth certificate.
- The child will have the ability to acquire social security and other benefits from you whenever needed.
After signing the notarized PA form, you will then file it with the State Office of Vital Records. It is also important to note that since you will have to work through the Division of Child Support Services, you, your child, and your child’s mother will undergo a paternity test to verify that you are your child’s biological father.
If the result turned out positive, you would be officially recognized as your child’s father, and your name will already appear in his/her birth certificate. Additionally, all the information in the PA form will become part of the State Putative Father Registry.
If you and your child’s mother failed to sign the PA form, that is when you can choose to go after the third option: obtaining a court order. Similarly, this process will require a paternity test.
Whatever you choose to do, it won’t be a piece-of-cake kind of process. The legal jargon involved in the whole procedure can overwhelm you after some time. Establishing paternity will inevitably demand the skills of a paternity attorney. If you wish to undergo the process, contact our law firm, and get legally assisted.
Reasons to Establish Paternity
There are several reasons why you should establish your paternity and, consequently, why should you hire an expert paternity attorney to make sure the process will all go well.
With the legal assistance of a paternity attorney, you will not just ensure the establishment of your paternity but also secure the benefits that will come after it. These benefits, both for you and your child, should be your major driving force to acquire the best legal representative you can have.
The following are the reasons why should you fight for your paternity:
- You will have visitation rights.
- Your child will have the identity he/she needs by knowing his/her biological father.
- You will be acknowledged as the father in your child’s birth certificate.
- You will have the right to choose your child’s name together with the child’s mother. If your child has been named without both the mother’s and your approval, the court can order for the child’s name to be changed at any time.
- Your medical history, as well as the mother’s, will be known and used to address your child’s need for medical care and treatment better.
- Both parents will financially support your child.
- Your child will benefit from your health insurance, social security, inheritance, and veteran’s benefits.
A skilled paternity attorney will make sure all these benefits are given to you and your child. Aside from that, the process of acquiring these benefits won’t be that overwhelming with the help of a qualified paternity attorney in Duluth, GA.
Parental Rights and Obligations
As you go through the process of paternity establishment, you should remember that along with the acknowledgment of your parenthood are the parental rights and obligations that come with it.
As your child’s legal father, the following rights are given to you per the family law of Georgia:
- The right to establish and maintain a parent-child relationship regardless of the relationship you have with your child’s mother.
- The right to access your child’s medical and school records
- The right to pursue child custody
- The right to a notice of an adoption proceeding or a proceeding that aims to terminate the rights of a biological father who is not the legal father.
Together with the rights, you will also have to be aware of the obligation that comes with being your child’s legal father:
- You should financially support and medically insure your child until at least he/she reached the age of 18. This responsibility will be shared with the child’s mother.
With the help from our dedicated paternity attorneys, you can make sure that all your rights as a father will be protected. Additionally, we will work on helping you abide by Georgia’s family law, giving you counsel on what you should do to properly fulfill your obligations without acquiring for yourself unnecessary financial and emotional burden.
Canceling the PA Form
Your issue may not at all be related to having your paternity acknowledged. If you instead want to cancel the PA form you have signed, our paternity attorneys are still very much ready and qualified to help you out.
If you or the child’s mother decided to cancel the PA form, the process must be done within 60 days of signing it. Outside of this timeframe, the form is considered permanent unless challenged on the grounds of duress, fraud, or material mistake of fact. This challenge, of course, should be supported with proof provided by the one who wishes to challenge the acknowledgment. If you decide to proceed with the challenge, we can legally assist you in organizing your needed evidence and build a strong case for you before the court.
However, you should know that even after canceling the PA, your name will not be removed from the child’s birth certificate if it’s already there. You or the child’s mother must still go and obtain a court order for your name to be removed and for the child’s surname to be changed.
The order should instruct the State Office of Vital Records to make amendments to your child’s birth certificate. The order should also state the specific name needed to be removed, and the one needed to be entered as the father on the certificate.
During this process, you should have a guiding paternity attorney beside you. This will save you from all the legal hiccups that will unnecessarily lengthen the process and extend your stress.
If you want to challenge paternity, you must bring your case before the court, given that the challenge is based on duress, fraud, or material mistake of fact. Once you do this, you will be required to provide several things. These include affidavits, forms, and lawful advice. This, then, leads to the necessity of hiring a skillful paternity attorney to challenge the paternity in court successfully.
Aside from providing evidence to support your challenge, a paternity attorney will also help you in understanding your ongoing responsibilities despite the existing challenge on your paternity. Legal responsibilities like child support payments wouldn’t get suspended despite the challenge unless good cause was presented. This emphasizes your need for an expert legal representative even more.
Paternity and Legitimation
Georgia courts have classified paternity and legitimation as two distinct, legally recognized concepts. Paternity is purely based on biology. If you are proven to be the child’s biological father, your paternity will be established. This will then come with your financial obligation to your minor child, among many other responsibilities.
Legitimation, on the other hand, isn’t based solely on biology. You may have established your paternity but may still not have any legal child custody or visitation rights. This is because, in accordance with Georgia family law, you can only acquire these rights once you legitimize your child, successfully establishing a legal relationship with him/her.
To put it simply, paternity equals child support, while legitimation equals child custody and parenting time.
These two concepts can be a bit confusing to some. If you need any clarifications or if you want to pursue any of the two, the paternity attorneys of our law firm are available to provide you an invaluable legal service.
We Are The Right Law Firm
We are the home of some of the best paternity attorneys here in Duluth. Aside from having the vast knowledge of the family law, a product of our extensive and commendable service to our previous clients, our paternity attorneys are all committed to continually learn and keep up with law changes to give you the best legal service that you deserve.
Paternity issues aren’t easy and can mean a whole lot to you as a man or as a father. Here in Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C., our law firm is known to handle legal matters with expertise and efficiency. Whatever it is, we will make sure all your paternity concerns will be resolved before you run out of money, time, and the emotional ability to handle stress.
To ease the complexities of paternity laws, choose to work with our Duluth paternity attorneys now.
Send a Consultation Now
You are maybe planning to establish your paternity, claim the rights associated with it, or challenge and cancel your already established paternity. No matter what your legal concern is, our best paternity attorneys in Duluth are ready to help.
Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. at (678) 504-8411 and consult our expert attorneys right now.