By law, both parents of a child are legally responsible to provide for the child's needs. However, parents are not guaranteed to equally inherit custody rights to their children. While mothers retain parental rights to children by default, fathers do not have the same luxury. When children are born out of wedlock, fathers are expected to provide child support while not automatically being given custody and visitation rights.
Fathers hoping to obtain rights can take action by filing a petition for legitimation. Pursue an effective legal resolution with Henrickson & Sereebutra!
What is legitimation?
Legitimation is a legal recognition of a father's relationship with their child. Unlike paternity, legitimation is not about establishing the biological relationship between the father and child—it is more about establishing the father's role in the child's life. Petitioning for legitimation opens the door for fathers to seek custody and visitation rights in order to play an active part in their children's upbringing.
There are other benefits that come with legitimation. You may have a greater say in your child's affairs. This includes adjusting support payments and custody arrangements to better suit the child's best interests. In addition, it also allows your child to inherit from you, and place the child in the care of your relatives if you or your mother are no longer able to care for the child.
Filing Your Petition
You are not required to file a legitimation petition with an attorney. Although the process is not as complicated as some family law procedures may be, it is important that the petition is filed correctly. A Paulding County divorce lawyer can not only help fathers file their petition correctly, but also pursue further action to establish their rights. Remember, legitimation does not automatically give you any rights—it opens the door for you to take further action to play an active role in your child's future.
Unless both parents submit a voluntary acknowledgment of the father's paternity, a paternity test may be required by the court as part of establishing legitimation. In addition, the mother will need to be notified of the legitimation action and any further legal recourse. Healthy communication between parents can prevent unnecessary trouble from slowing down the process—an experienced family law attorney can help fathers and mothers stay mutually informed about the procedure.
Do not wait to obtain the parental rights you deserve. Let the Paulding County divorce attorneys at Henrickson & Sereebutra help you through the legitimation process. Schedule your free consultation today!