In Georgia, a father must legitimate a child before legal or physical custodial rights to the child will be granted. There are several factors that the court will consider during the legitimation process, these include:
The judge will take these factors into the entire picture of the child: mother’s and father’s life, and in most counties, the court will order the legitimation if they get consent from the mother. If the mother refuses to consent, the court will have to focus on other factors.
After a Petition for Legitimation has been granted, the next step is determining the child’s physical and legal custody. In some instances, the father may be granted primary physical custody of the child, and in others, the mother will retain her primary physical custody. Some cases award the parents joint, or equal, custody of the child. This is more likely in Metro Atlanta counties and Fulton counties as they’re more progressive than other counties in the state.
The decision of custody arrangements will have a lasting impact on the child and the parents’ lives. Before an agreement is made, it’s essential to consider where you see yourself in the future and what you see for your child. Each case is different, and the help of an experienced attorney can help you get the custody arrangements that are best for the child.