Douglas W. Lewis, Lawrenceville Attorney – Gwinnett Legitimation, Paternity, Divorce, Custody, and Family Law
GWINNETT LEGITIMATION ATTORNEY – 11 ESSENTIAL THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LEGITIMATION IN GEORGIA
PATERNITY DNA TEST
This is the fourth of a five-part series regarding the 11 Essential Things You Should Know About Legitimation in Georgia
Recent studies have shown that among women under thirty years old, more than one-half of all babies are now born outside of marriage. That means with the new year fast approaching, it is now more likely that the first baby born at Gwinnett Medical Center to a mother under thirty years of age will be born out of wedlock.
Family law attorneys in Gwinnett County are receiving an ever- increasing number of inquiries concerning legitimation and paternity issues in general, and the rights of the biological father of a child born out of wedlock in particular.
In Part I, we discussed that Georgia law states that the biological father of a child born out of wedlock does not have any visitation or custody rights to the child unless he legally legitimates the child and that if a Paternity Acknowledgment form is not signed then the father's name will not appear n the birth certificate.
In Part III, we discussed that a father must file a Petition to Legitimate in order to seek visitation or custody rights to a child born out of wedlock.
This following addresses #7 and #8 of the most Essential Things You Should Know About Legitimation in Georgia:
7. The biological father must file his legitimation action in the mother's county of residence.
The general rule is that the biological father of a child born out of wedlock must file his Petition for Legitimation in the Superior Court of the county in which the mother resides or in the county in which another party lives who has legal custody or guardianship of the subject child. However, if the mother lives outside the state of Georgia or cannot, after due diligence be found within the state, then the father can file his Petition to Legitimate in the county of his residence or the child's residence.
If an adoption action involving the child is pending then the father's Petition for Legitimation must be filed in the county in which the adoption action is filed. [O.C.G.A. Section 19-7-22 (a)].
If a dependency proceeding involving the child is pending then the father may file his Petition to Legitimate in the juvenile court of the county in which the juvenile matter is filed. [O.C.G.A. Section 19-7-22(d)].
8. When the father files a legitimation action either parent can demand that a paternity test be conducted to legally determine if the petitioner is the biological father of the child.
In a legitimation action either party can file a motion with the court to order the mother, the alleged father and the child to submit to DNA genetic testing pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 19-7-43.
DNA testing no longer requires blood to be drawn. DNA samples are typically collected by a non-invasive cheek swab (buccal swab). All genetic testing must be conducted by a laboratory certified by the American Association of Blood Banks. (O.C.G.A. Section 19-7-45).
There is a rebuttable presumption of paternity of a child born out of wedlock if the genetic test establishes at least a 97 percent probability of paternity [O.C.G.A. Section 19-7-46 (b)].
If you or a family member or a friend have any questions about what happens when a child is born out of wedlock in Gwinnett County, or in any other County in the metro-Atlanta area including Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Walton, Barrow, Hall and Forsyth counties, then please do not hesitate to immediately call attorney Doug Lewis at 770-682-3765 for a free initial telephone consultation.
Lawrenceville Attorney Douglas W. Lewis has over twenty years of experience in Gwinnett County and the Atlanta Metro area handling divorce, legitimation, paternity and child custody cases, family law cases, personal injury cases, criminal defense, civil litigation cases and estate planning matters. If you have any questions please call the Lawrenceville office for a free initial phone consultation or to schedule an office consultation. You can contact attorney Doug Lewis by telephone at 770-682-3765, via email. Client reviews can be found on Mr. Lewis' Google + page and on his website.