The Law Offices Of Diane M. Sternlieb, J.D., B.S.N., R.N.

Legitimation and Paternity Lawyer

Attorney Diane M. Sternlieb is a legitimation lawyer and paternity lawyer servicing West Georgia including the areas of Carrollton, GA, Newnan, GA, Douglasville, GA and Paulding County. She provides in depth legal advisement and experienced representation for clients in need of these specialized services.

The majority of people believe that the only thing needed to “legitimize” a child is for the biological father to sign the birth certificate. However, in reality there is much more to the process than this simple step. The law considers any child born outside of marriage as “illegitimate” and in order for the child to become legitimate the father can petition the courts. He will need to petition the Superior Court of the county where the birth mother or other legal guardian resides. However, if the birth mother or other legal guardian lives outside the state or cannot be located after due diligence, then the petition may be filed in the father’s county of residence.

If there is a pending adoption for the minor, the father of the child will file the petition in the county where the adoption petition is being filed. The father must subsequently prove his case before a judge showing that he has not forfeited his opportunity interest in his minor.

After the initial presentation and once the petition has been filed, an order can be passed by the court declaring that the father’s relationship with his child is “legitimate.” The order will allow the father and child to inherit from one another as in the case of being born under lawful wedlock. The court may also choose to refute the petition upon evidence presented by the child's mother or legal guardian.

Paternity cases are usually determined by DNA testing and are usually required in child support cases. Child support can be assessed against the unwed father whether the child has been legitimized or not.

If you need the assistance of a paternity lawyer or legitimation lawyer in West Georgia, contact the law office of Diane M. Sternlieb by calling (770) 214-5933 today.

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