Although Georgia law recognizes the equal rights and responsibilities of mothers and fathers, men continue to face challenges asserting their parental rights. Whether you are seeking to maintain the bonds with your children after a separation of divorce or with a child you have with a woman to whom you are not married, the best decision you can make is to consult an experienced family law attorney.
E.N. Banks-Ware, LLC has extensive experience representing fathers in custody and legitimation proceedings in Metro-Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. We are well-versed in the applicable child custody and child support laws and will work to help you maintain an active role in your child’s life. When you become our client, we will take the time to understand your relationship with your child, explain all your rights, and guide you through the legal system.
What are fathers’ rights?
In short, fathers have a right to be involved in their children’s life on a regular basis and in a meaningful way. As such, Georgia law recognizes fathers’ rights concerning child custody and parental responsibility. In a divorce, whether contested or uncontested, the parents must agree on a parenting plan that establishes custody and visitation rights.
If they cannot reach an agreement, the court will intervene to determine a parenting plan based on what it perceives to be the best interests of the child. Although Georgia law is designed to treat mothers and fathers equally, the courts often favor mothers in custody cases involving minor children since mothers are usually the primary caregivers.
This is why you need the father’s rights attorneys at E.N. Banks-Ware on your side. We will help you secure meaningful access to your child and also preserve your right to make key decisions concerning your child’s health, education, and religious upbringing, which is referred to “legal custody.” While we prefer to reach negotiated resolutions to child custody and visitation issues, we are equally capable of asserting your fathers’ rights in a court of law.
If you have a child with a woman you are not married to, establishing your fathers’ rights can be challenging. When a child is born to unmarried parents in Georgia, the biological father does not have child custody or visitation rights. There is a legal process known as legitimation, however, which gives a biological father the ability to establish a legal relationship with his child.
Under Georgia law, there are ways to legitimate a child, entering into an Acknowledgement of Legitimation with the child’s mother or filing a Petition for Legitimation with the court. Upon legitimation, the legal father will be responsible for the support of the child, and the court may also establish the father’s custody and visitation rights, provided that these rights are also asserted in the petition.
It is worth noting that the father of a child who has not been legitimated still has an obligation to provide for the child financially and can be forced to pay child support once the mother establishes paternity. For this reason, it is in your best interest to legitimate your child.
Contact Our Dekalb County Fathers’ Rights Attorneys
At E.N. Banks-Ware, LLC, we work with fathers who are going through a separation or divorce to preserve their parental rights and also help unmarried men navigate the legitimation process. As committed as we are to protecting your parental rights, you should know that you must also be willing to fight for your rights and maintain an active role in your child’s life. If you want to spend the maximum possible time with your child, you must be able to demonstrate that you will put your child’s well being ahead of your own needs.
Our father’s rights attorneys have the knowledge and skills to advocate for your parental rights, whether inside or outside of the courtroom. While it is typically in your best interests to resolve custody and visitation issues through a negotiated settlement, we are fully prepared to go to trial if necessary. Regardless of the approach, we are committed to helping you obtain the custody and parenting time arrangements you are seeking.
When you consult E.N. Banks-Ware, LLC, you can rest assured we will work tirelessly to protect your fathers’ rights. Above all, we will provide you with knowledge, compassion and first-rate legal representation. Please contact our office today to speak with our fathers’ rights attorneys.