Legitimation in Cobb County, Georgia
Looking for information or have questions about legitimation in Cobb County, Georgia? You are not alone. There are many people who need information on legitimation in Cobb County. You will find the information you need on this site, including what it is, how to file it, and how to find an attorney who can help you out. We have also included some frequently asked questions that you may find helpful as well.
Quick Facts About Legitimation in Cobb County:
- The Petition for Legitimation is filed at the Superior Court. You will find the Legitimation Packet online.
- The petition needs to be filed in the county where the child resides.
- You can file the petition on your own, or you can hire an attorney to represent you. The Superior Court highly advises working with an attorney.
- Only the biological father of the child can file the Petition for Legitimation regarding a child who was born out of wedlock. The mother cannot file the petition.
- There is a fee to file the petition. For the current filing fee, call the Superior Court at 770-528-1300.
- Legitimation is the action that gives the father of a child born out of wedlock legal rights to the child. The only other way for legitimation to take place is to marry the child’s mother.
Forms Needed for Legitimation in Cobb County
When filing the paperwork for legitimation in Cobb County, you must fill out every section accurately. The forms you will need include:
- Petition for Legitimation
- Respondent’s Consent to Legitimation
- Acknowledgment of Service
- Rule Nisi
If you are not addressing issues of custody, visitation and support, and are only legitimating, you may not need the following forms:
- “Exhibit A” – Visitation Schedule
- Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit
- Certificate of Service
There are additional forms that may be necessary, depending on your personal situation. These include:
- Domestic Relations Case Filing
- Domestic Relations Disposition
- Sheriff’s Entry of Service
What You Need to Know About Filing for Legitimation in Cobb County
Most people filing for legitimation have many questions about what exactly it is and about the filing process. Legitimation is the process that a father of a child born out of wedlock needs to take in order for him to have legal rights to his child. When a child is born out of wedlock, even if his name is on the birth certificate as the father, the state of Georgia does not give him legal rights to the child until legitimation has taken place.
It is important to note that if the child was born out of wedlock and the parents married after the birth, then the child is already considered to be legitimate. In that case, you would not need to petition for legitimation. The same goes for if the parents married during the pregnancy. The only time the father needs to file for legitimation is when the child was born to parents who were not married at the time of the birth or who did not get married after the child was born.
How to Legitimate a Child in Cobb County
To legally legitimate a child in Cobb County, you need to file the Petition for Legitimation at the Superior Court. Once the petition has been filed, the mother will be served by the sheriff if she has not already signed a consent or waiver. If you do not know where the mother lives, then she will be served with a Petition by publication. The length of the process that the legitimation takes depends on certain factors, such as if another father is listed on the birth certificate, if the mother must be served by publication, and if there are custody issues.
Why Petition for Legitimation
Even for those men who may have taken a paternity test to prove they are the father, it is important to take the steps toward legitimation. A paternity test could be used to ensure that you pay child support, for example, but it doesn’t guarantee any legal rights to the child, including visitation. There are other important reasons to establish legitimation, including if something were to happen to the mother. If the mother died, for example, the child could be put into someone else’s custody, rather than go to the father. If you would like to get custody of the child or have visitation rights, you need to first start by establishing legitimation.
Should you hire an attorney or file yourself?
You do have the option of filing the Petition for Legitimation on your own. However, working with an attorney may be the safest option. Legitimating your child is an important matter and you need everything to go in your favor. The best way to ensure that everything is filed correctly and that everything has been done to help protect you is to work with an attorney who will have your best interest in mind. Consult with an attorney experienced in Georgia divorce and family law.
If you cannot afford to hire an attorney you may be able to get assistance through Georgia Legal Aid and by contacting the State Bar of Georgia to inquire about pro bono attorneys.