What About Custody Rights When the Parents Aren’t Married?
The importance of a parental rights lawyer becomes very obvious in the case of unmarried parents. In the state of Georgia, the law says that the mother has sole custody if the parents aren’t married.
The mother is the only person who can have legal custody regardless of the level of involvement in the child’s life. Even if the parents have lived in a committed relationship for many years, when they split up the mother has sole custody. If you are the mother, you are free and clear if you want custody. If you are the father, getting custody gets difficult. Roswell, GA information can be seen at this link.
Legitimize the Child
With the help of a parental rights lawyer, the unmarried father can go through the process of legitimization. See here for information about Parental Rights in Same-Sex Marriages.
Even before trying to legitimize the child, the father will need to establish paternity. If the parents are still in their committed relationship when the child is born, the father and the mother can sign a document of voluntary acknowledgment and have it filed with the State or County Office of Vital Records.
Just putting the father’s name on the birth certificate is not legitimizing the child. The father must file an order of legitimation if he wants to petition for custody or visitation.