How to Establish Paternity in Georgia

If you are a father in Georgia seeking custody or visitation rights with your child, you need to establish two things to the court: paternity and legitimation. The legitimation process in Georgia can be complicated, but establishing paternity is easier. Paternity allows you to be listed on the birth certificate and establishes you as the biological father. It also means you can be held responsible for child support. Wondering how to establish paternity in Georgia?  Wondering how to establish paternity in Georgia? Read below.

Three Ways To Establish Paternity In Georgia

When establishing paternity in Georgia, there are three ways to go about it.  The first is by being legally married at the time of the child’s birth. In this case, the court assumes that you are the biological father.

The second is to sign a VPA form at the hospital when the child is born or the Vital Records Office in the county where the child was born after the birth. This option is for parents who are unmarried but are willing to voluntarily attest to the paternity of the child.

Finally, the court can order a paternity test. There are several places where the test can be performed and be admissible for use in court. Be aware that, if the test is done through the Department of Child Support Services, and the paternity of the father is proven, he is responsible for paying the cost of the test. If the alleged father is not proven to be the biological father, then the mother is responsible for paying the fee with some exceptions.

Rights and Responsibilities With The VPA Form

The VPA form is voluntary and should only be signed if you are absolutely confident that you are the biological father. 

Once the form is signed, you are legally presumed to be the father of the child and the birth certificate will be updated to reflect that. You are accepting legal responsibility to provide support and medical insurance for the child until they turn 18, or later in some cases.

You receive the right to notification of any adoption proceeding that may take place in the future as well as any proceeding to terminate your rights as a biological father.

Either the mother or the father can cancel the VPA within 60 days of the original signatures or up to the date of a court order requesting paternity testing, whichever comes first.

Talk To An Atlanta Paternity Issues Attorney

If you have any questions about establishing paternity in Georgia, or you feel that you were made to sign a VPA under duress or false pretense, you should consult an experienced, caring attorney.

Finding a paternity issues attorney in Atlanta is simple. Choose The Family Matters Law Group who have been helping clients across the Atlanta metro area resolve paternity and legitimation issues for years. Setting up an initial consultation is easy — simply use our online form or call us directly. We’re ready to hear your story and fight hard for your family and your assets!