Atlanta GA Child Visitation and Paternity Lawyer
When couples who are married with children go through a divorce, they face a number of challenges and it can take a lot of effort to work out all of the details. There are financial matters such as the division of any real property and other assets that the couple may have acquired together, and they also have to decide how to divide any debt that they may have. In some cases, the matter of spousal support may be something that has to be hashed out. Aside from these financial issues, there are big decisions that must be made in regard to the children, such as custody, and then visitation and child support arrangements must be made.
As daunting as all of that may be for divorcing couples, matters of child visitation and support can be even more challenging for parents of children who are not married. Paternity can sometimes be an issue, and the parental rights and responsibilities of an unmarried man can come into question.
In many cases unmarried couples with children have mutually acknowledged the paternity of the father throughout the lives of the children and there is really no debate concerning the rights and responsibilities of the father. This open recognition of parentage is one way to legally establish paternity in Georgia, and legitimation, or marriage between the father and the mother, is another.
However, there are paternity cases that are contested for one reason or another. There are times when a man will deny paternity and the mother of the child in question will attempt to prove the man’s parentage in an effort to force the alleged father to pay child support. In many cases the woman’s motivation will extend beyond the financial element, attempting to prove the parentage of the father in an effort to encourage his participation in the life of the child. There are other cases when a man is not being given parental rights, such as visitation, and he attempts to prove paternity in an attempt to gain those rights and assume the responsibilities that go along with parenthood.
People can usually work these things out for themselves when they are being fair minded and keeping the best interests of the children in the forefront of their thinking. But in cases when there is genuine doubt concerning parentage, these days it can be quickly cleared up via genetic testing, and this is what the court will order in circumstances that warrant it.
If you have questions or concerns about child visitation, legitimation, and/or paternity, contact an Atlanta GA family attorney for a free consultation.