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Understanding the Georgia paternity process

Separations and divorce can be trying times for all parties. In situations involving children, it is important that parties handle family disputes properly. 

In cases where the paternal father does not receive that designation, he may not be able to fully exercise his parental rights. Therefore, it is important to understand the paternity process in Georgia.

Process

The most common way of establishing paternity is for the father to be on the birth certificate upon its creation. However, if the father is not present upon the child's birth, or if the couple is not married and the mother does not ask for him to be added, the father may not automatically receive that title. In accordance with the law, there are a few other ways to establish paternity. If both parents agree, they may complete a paternity form, or the father can submit a paternity acknowledgement form, with the proper authorities. On the other hand, if there is conflict in regard to the parental rights, either parent can petition for a hearing to establish paternity.

Importance

There are a few important benefits to establishing paternity. Not only does it give a father the right to make decisions for his child, but it also gives the child certain entitlements, such as:

  • Financial support
  • Health insurance
  • Sense of identity

These and other benefits can contribute to the healthy growth and development of the child. For fathers seeking to solidify their place in their children's lives, establishing paternity is a critical part of the process.

Requirement

In 2015, paternity tests became a requirement in all paternity cases. As such, the petition for establishing paternity serves as a way for fathers to seek parenting rights and establish special arrangements, including custody and visitation, when the mother or guardian tries not to cooperate.  

This is a brief overview of a few key aspects in the paternity process. For those parents seeking to show paternity, it is important to fully understand the law and process.

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