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In Georgia, legitimation is a legal term referring to the establishment of the paternity of a child. Most often an order of legitimation is sought in an attempt by a mother to obtain child support payments or by a father to gain custody or visitation rights. Either way, it is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible to see what is needed to legitimate a child.

A written agreement may be needed to establish paternity, but in the case of a contested paternity situation, a DNA test will likely be necessary.

The father of a child has responsibilities when it comes to that child's care. This includes helping to support the child financially. Additionally, a father has rights when it comes to his child. He has the right to request legal or physical custody and have a say in the decisions made regarding the child's future. He also has the right to request the opportunity to visit his child in the case that he and the child's mother are not living together.

The attorneys at Connell and Wheeler are experienced with orders of legitimation and is dedicated to helping our clients, both mothers and fathers, in establishing paternity for their children. We most often see this as necessary when a man and woman have a child out of wedlock or while a married couple is going through a divorce or legal separation and there is a question about the paternity of their child

Determining paternity may be a fairly simple process when both the mother and the father agree upon the father's paternity. In this case, a signed legal agreement may be all that is needed. However, having a father's name on a birth certificate or having a child share the father's last name may not be enough to fully establish paternity in the case of a dispute between the mother and father. In this case, DNA testing may be needed in order to establish paternity. Either way, we can help you through this process.