During a child custody case or divorce negotiation, many fathers worry that their rights will be ignored and that their relationship with their children will suffer as a result. However, Georgia law gives both legal parents equal rights.
If you are in the process of negotiating custody, an Atlanta father’s rights lawyer might be able to help. A compassionate attorney could help to explain your rights and work tirelessly to fight for your rights and the wellbeing of your children.
In Georgia, fathers do not have automatic custody rights to their child—unless they were married to their child’s biological mother, or established as the legal father through a court of law. This is true even if the father signed a birth certificate or if they have lived with the child all of their life.
To gain legal rights over a child, a father must establish their paternity and file a petition for legitimation. If successful, this process solidifies a father’s biological connection to their child, as well as potentially creating the right for a father to have custody or visitation rights. A father’s rights lawyer could help a parent during negotiations to determine their legal connection to their child, and what legal options are available to them as a result.
In matters of child custody, a father who has established paternity and legitimized his child is treated equally with the child’s biological mother. Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-9-3, there is no presumption in favor of either parent during custody cases.
Furthermore, this statute outlines how joint custody should be granted, whenever appropriate. However, if a father cannot fully share joint physical custody of a child—which determines where a child lives—they might still be able to receive joint legal custody, which allows a parent to make important decisions regarding their child’s upbringing.
When deciding which type of custody a father should have, a court will usually examine multiple elements of the parent-child relationship. These include the father’s:
Along with negotiations over custody, a father might need help defending their rights through any number of legal disputes in Atlanta. For example, they might need help defending against an illegitimate or unfair claim for child support. On the other hand, they wish to modify or change an existing child support arrangement with the help of a knowledgeable attorney.
Furthermore, fathers might also need to file a petition to prevent another person from adopting their child. For example, children that are not legitimated by a father might be adopted by their biological mother’s new spouse. Therefore, if a father does not fight these types of claims, they might lose their legal connection to their child.
Fighting for your rights during a custody case or other legal dispute can seem like an uphill battle. However, with the help of an Atlanta father’s rights lawyer, you could have help with each step.
A well-versed attorney could help to assess your circumstances, explain your legal rights, and provide guidance on how to proceed. To schedule an appointment, call a legal professional today.